Tony Pulis has been talking ahead of Saturday’s match at St James Park and unsurprisingly, Saido Berahino was a major topic of conversation.

Newcastle were reported to have bid £21m for the striker in the January transfer window, though there were claims in some quarters that it was simply a PR stunt with no real intent in buying him.

Either way, Berahino is still at West Brom and…still out of the team.

At his pre-Newcastle press conference Tony Pulis confirmed that the 22 year old striker won’t start against United but will be in the starting eleven for their FA Cup replay against Peterborough.

Berahino hasn’t started a Premier League match for over three months (31 October 2015) and Pulis sums up the very starnge situation that exists at West Brom, when he says that due to the issues surrounding the player, the club have been ‘without one of the best goalscorers in the Premier League’.

I must admit, the way Pulis talks about Saido Berahino, makes you think that the striker must be pretty thick, even compared to the usual stereotype of a Premier League football player!

Tony Pulis after revealing Berahino won’t start against Newcastle:

“He wants to play, desperately, he wants to be involved, we are desperate to get him involved.

“All those shenanigans have now eased off the kid and hopefully he can see a path through to the end of the season.

“If there is a path that he can see through and focus his mind on then he is a different kid.

“If there’s obstacles he gets confused, he gets misled, everything else runs through his mind.

“You have got to accept that this football club has been without one of the best goalscorers in the Premier League all season.

“Take Vardy out of Leicester and see where Leicester would be.

“It has been a big miss for this football club.

“The window’s closed and he’s still with us, we’ve got to make sure he gets his head down, works hard on his fitness and get him back into the fold as quickly as possible.

Newcastle is a fantastic club and they’ve spent a hell of a lot of money.

“They will be having a right go last quarter of the season. We’ll go there and we’ll give it our best shot.”