Newcastle's hopes of signing Saido Berahino hit by Champions League ambition

Newcastle United target Saido Berahino wants to play for a Champions League team, according to West Brom boss Tony Pulis.

Tony Pulis and Saido Berahino
Tony Pulis and Saido Berahino

The striker was the subject of intense transfer speculation in January, with both Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur keen on the player.

The Magpies submitted a club record £21million bid for the England Under-21 international, which was rejected by the Baggies.

Berahino has 15 months left on his contract and Newcastle will make a renewed bid to sign him should they stay in the Premier League.

However, Pulis says the forward wants to play for a top-four side – and believes he will get the move he craves if he knuckles down and regains his best form.

Pulis said: “Everything will follow, whether now, tomorrow or the next day.

“If he is playing well, he will get the recognition. And the move. He wants to play for a top-four team.

“I don’t think it is the money, it is the opportunity and the chance to show how good he is. You can’t take that from the boy. You can’t tell him not to want that.

“It makes people become stronger and better. He is a driven person, he has that ambition. You don’t want to take that from him.

“He can’t go anywhere, he is with us now, and he has to get himself fit and put himself in that position again that he was last summer.

“If it happens, it happens. If not, he has to keep playing and that is what he has done.”

Berahino was on target against Crystal Palace on Saturday in a 3-2 win that eased West Brom’s relegation fears.

And Pulis wants him to make the most of his ‘God-given gift’ between now and the end of the season.

“If he plays half the season now like he did, everybody will start talking about him,” Pulis added.

“His mind is clear and he is set on his football again.

“I have had lots of conversations with him. It has not been a short period.

“This has been over three windows. Every window that opens up, he gets driven in a direction that maybe a more experienced or stronger character would deal with.

“The most important thing is that he has a God-given gift and he should squeeze the pips from it, and have a great, great career.”