ROBSON HAPPY WITH MARTINEZ DEAL
By John Curtis, PA Sport
West Brom manager Bryan Robson admits he sought advice from former Uruguayan striker Daniel Fonseca before snapping up defender Williams Martinez on loan for the remainder of the season.
Martinez, who plays for Defensor, will make a £2million move permanent in the summer if it suits both parties.
Southampton midfielder Nigel Quashie will also make the switch to The Hawthorns in a £1.5million deal if personal terms can be finalised with Richard Chaplow heading in the opposite direction on loan for the remainder of the season.
Robson, whose side visit Charlton for Tuesday's Premiership clash, has been keen to sign a centre-back throughout the January transfer window.
He was confident of landing Middlesbrough's Ugo Ehiogu but that deal fell through over finances at the 11th hour.
Now he has turned to Martinez, who has an Italian passport, after consulting with Fonseca who was his country's number one marksman during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Robson said: "Williams comes highly recommended and is probably the best young player over in Uruguay at the moment. He has got into the last couple of Uruguayan squads.
"I've been talking to Daniel Fonseca who knows all the Uruguayan players. I've been speaking to him for maybe three months about certain players over there
"He is a tough tackler but he has also got very good technique and the reason I say that is when his team get a free-kick, he is the one who takes them.
"He is a hard type but he can pass the ball. He is a no nonsense centre-half which is what you usually get from Uruguay and Argentina.
"From what I've seen of him, he does have very good attributes. How long it will take him to settle down to Premiership football and the pace of the game, only time will tell.
"He is here on loan but with a view to a permanent deal in the summer if both parties are happy."
Robson has been a long time admirer of former England Under-21 player Quashie.
The Baggies chief said: "I always liked him when he played for QPR, Portsmouth and Southampton. He is an intelligent player, has good stamina is a very good passer of the ball.
"He has got the experience now of relegation fights and playing in the Premiership. I just feel he will improve our squad.
"I just feel we have been a bit short in midfield. Riccardo Scimeca and Lloyd Dyer have gone and it is a matter of balancing the squad all the time and just trying to improve as you keep doing that.
"Ourselves and Southampton have agreed a fee for him and we are in negotiations with him so hopefully a deal will be done. The chairman is in negotiations with his agent and I just hope that can run smoothly and he can become a West Brom player."
Striker Robert Earnshaw has rejected the chance to move to Southampton and will be in the squad to face the Addicks against whom he scored a hat-trick in the corresponding fixture last season.
Robson said: "Earnie turned down the opportunity to go to Southampton. He said he wants to play Premiership football and we've had no offers for him
"Earnshaw has now got to get on with his job with us because this is the best chance he has got of playing Premier League football - with ourselves."
Norwich were also interested in Earnshaw but were put off by the asking price - believed to be around £3million.
Robson said: "It's amazing that they say the price is too high when they have sold Dean Ashton for £ million. If they think the transfer fee we are asking for is too big, then they are not going to come back in.
"If they give us the money we are asking for, then they can come back in."
Robson also confirmed that another striker in Geoff Horsfield is likely to move to Sheffield United when Kanu and Diomansy Kamara return from African Nations Cup duty.
He said: "Once the boys come back from the Nations Cup Geoff could be going to Sheffield United. It suits Geoff and that's something we are looking at. It could be a loan but it could be permanent.
"Maybe a move back north would suit Geoff well but I think it is mainly first-team football he wants."