Puel in hint at a re­call for Barnes

Birmingham Post - - SPORT - Har­vey Barnes

AL­BION will learn over the week­end whether Le­ices­ter City plan to re­call key at­tacker Har­vey Barnes.

It’s thought the Premier League side have un­til Mon­day to ex­er­cise their right to take Barnes back to the King Power ahead of sched­ule.

Foxes boss Claude Puel re­called Barnes early from his loan at Barns­ley last sea­son, although that de­ci­sion was made at the start of the 2018 win­ter trans­fer win­dow.

Puel has kept an open mind on re­call­ing Barnes this sea­son, but is now run­ning out of time to sanc­tion a sim­i­lar di­rec­tive.

Barnes has been in­te­gral to Al­bion’s pro­mo­tion push with nine goals, many of them vir­tu­oso ef­forts, and six as­sists.

Last week, Al­bion head coach Dar­ren Moore said he was “very, very hope­ful” of re­tain­ing the 21-year-old un­til the end of the sea­son, as per the terms of his loan agree­ment. But Puel hinted a re­call might be in the off­ing.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate the char­ac­ter from him in the first half of the sea­son,” he said. “He showed a good clin­i­cal edge and we’ve had a prob­lem with this.

“We have to look at the bal­ance in our squad and look at the pos­i­tives and neg­a­tives about him com­ing back.

“I think it will be more pos­i­tive and I can un­der­stand the ques­tion for West Bromwich Al­bion.”

Barnes was left out of Al­bion’s FA Cup win over Wi­gan last week­end. Moore in­sisted there had been no in­struc­tion from Le­ices­ter not to field the young­ster.

“It was our de­ci­sion be­cause I just thought he’d played a lot of games, as had the oth­ers,” he said. “It was a tough and gru­elling Christ­mas pro­gramme. We’re in that win­dow where there will be spec­u­la­tion.

“We’re here to work with Le­ices­ter, not against Le­ices­ter. They’ve got the op­tion to do it, but they’ve not called him back yet. At the mo­ment he’s here and we con­tinue as we’re do­ing.”

Mean­while, for­mer Al­bion player Giles Barnes is train­ing with the Bag­gies in or­der to keep fit, but the 30-year-old, who played 23 games in the 2010-11 sea­son, is not be­ing con­sid­ered for a deal.

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