West Brom have confirmed they are in discussions with Derby over the possible sale of George Thorne. Albion are due to fly out to America on Thursday for a pre-season training camp in California, but Thorne will remain in the Midlands while talks between the two clubs take place. If a deal can not be agreed then the midfielder will link up with the rest of Alan Irvine’s squad at a later date. “The club are in talks with Derby about George and while those negotiations continue it makes sense for him to remain at home,” West Brom boss Irvine told the club’s official website. “However, if no agreement is reached, George will be flown out to join the rest of the group in the US.” Thorne, who signed an improved three-and-a-half-year contract with Albion in January, enjoyed a successful four-month loan spell with Derby last season, helping Steve McClaren’s men to reach the Sky Bet Championship play-off final at Wembley. Those performances have seen the Rams table two bids for the 21-year-old which were both rejected by West Brom. Since returning to The Hawthorns, Thorne has spoken of his desire to join Derby on a permanent basis and he has handed in two transfer requests – which were also turned down by the club. Meanwhile, Stephane Sessegnon will also be absent from the 23-man squad that travels to America as he has been selected for international duty by Benin for Sunday’s African Nations Cup qualifier against Malawi. West Brom will play two friendly matches against Sacramento Republic during their 11-day trip. They will take place at Bonney Field on July 21 and July 25. Press Association
Sunday’s draw pitched the Irish against the third-placed side from Group B, from which Belgium and Wales qualified directly. The Republic have met Bosnia just once before, with the Irish winning 1-0 courtesy of a Shane Long header in May 2012 under previous manager Giovanni Trapattoni. Long is currently sidelined with an ankle injury but with almost a month before the two-legged play-off, which will see the Republic play away first on Friday, November 13 with the return leg at the Aviva Stadium on Monday, November 16, O’Neill knows there is the potential for more setbacks. “I spoke to Shane a few days ago and he is optimistic,” he told Sky Sports News. “Like anything else, sometimes with these particular injuries you are going well for a little while, and then you have three or four or five days where the injury doesn’t seem to be healing up as quickly as you would imagine, so we’ll play it by ear. “We’ve got obviously a few problems to negotiate, we’ve got a couple of suspensions (Jon Walters and John O’Shea) and who knows what might happen in the next couple of weeks with players playing at club level. “Injuries are always a possibility but whatever we have when the time comes we will go for it. We will give it absolutely everything we’ve got in a bid to get to France.” Ireland were not seeded for the draw but avoided the likes of Sweden and Denmark, who will face each other in a Scandinavian derby. And O’Neill believes they can take encouragement from the four points they earned from two matches against world champions Germany in their two qualifying group games. “Those were terrific results for us,” he said. Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill is hopeful his side will not be hamstrung by injuries for next month’s Euro 2016 play-off against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Press Association “The late equaliser out in Germany was fantastic considering they were just back a couple of months from winning the World Cup. “But to follow it up in Dublin with a magnificent win has to give you great confidence and from that, because it’s so recent, we should take that confidence into these two games. “There was talk here that there wasn’t a great deal of difference between the seeded and non-seeded sides, but I think that if you asked any of us coaches who were unseeded, I think we would prefer to have been seeded. “If there’s any slight advantage to be had maybe it’s the second game being played in Dublin. “That said, I think that we would need to perform out in Bosnia to make sure that second game means something and that will not be easy.” The other two play-off matches see Ukraine play Slovenia and Norway tackle Hungary.