Tony Pulis says Saido Berahino must “work hard” at West Brom in case Tottenham don’t come in for the striker in January.
Berahino has been benched for the last six games and has not started for Albion since October, but Salomon Rondon’s red card in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth could see the 22-year-old recalled over the festive period.
Berahino’s form dropped following four rejected summer bids from Tottenham – after which he threatened to go on strike – but Pulis is prepared to grant him a return.
He said: “We have got a tough Christmas period so the players will be played. Given the way he has trained in the last couple of days, given the opportunity, hopefully he can show what he can do.
“We have two games in three days so we would definitely rotate the squad. We will start with players at Swansea which we won’t start with against Newcastle. We will certainly rotate the side.”
Albion expect further interest from Spurs in January , but Pulis has warned Berahino, who scored 20 goals last season, that there are no guarantees.
He said: “How long have we got until the window opens? I am going to be talking about the same old, same old, same old all the time. If Tottenham come in and they do the deal, they do the deal.
“If they don’t come in Saido has got to get his head down and recognise and realise he has got to work hard, get in our team and start scoring goals again.
“I’m not going to tell Daniel Levy (Tottenham chairman) what to do and I’m not going to tell Jeremy (Peace, West Brom chairman), if he doesn’t want to sell, what to do.”
Along with Rondon, James McClean is also banned following his straight red against Bournemouth, but Claudio Yacob is available after a family bereavement.