West Bromwich Albion have reportedly held talks with Brighton over a move for centre-back Shane Duffy, according to the Daily Mail.

Slaven Bilic is understood to be a big admirer of the 28-year-old as he would offer Premier League experience and no-nonsense defending to Albion’s backline this season.

West Ham are also keeping tabs on the Republic of Ireland international but the Hammers must sell players before they can buy, which will put them in a difficult situation if the two clubs end up bidding for Duffy.

Albion already have cash available to spend, whereas West Ham would have to wait until players were offloaded before they could make an offer.

However, Shane Duffy is not expected to come cheap; he is valued at £8.5m by Transfermarkt and Brighton might even push for £10m as they are in no rush to sell.

Duffy managed to keep seven clean sheets in 19 appearances for Brighton in the Premier League last season.

There’s no doubt that the Baggies’ defence needs bolstering before the season begins, and Duffy could be a solid addition, but a fee of around £8.5m could be asked for the 28-year-old, which is instantly a fair chunk of the transfer budget gone.

But if you want quality in the top flight, you naturally have to pay more to get it — especially if it’s from a team competing in the same division as you.

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