Club News

Jones rejects improved deal and departs Hawthorns

Right-back leaves Albion for the Stadium of Light

BILLY Jones has rejected Albion’s final contract offer and joined Barclays Premier League rivals Sunderland on a Bosman.

The club are now pursuing other targets they have been monitoring in the right-back position.

Albion had been in contract negotiations with 27-year-old Jones, who made 21 league appearances last term, since October.

Director of Football Administration, Richard Garlick, said: “Following further talks with Billy’s representative, we made our final offer last week – a long-term deal on vastly-improved terms based on Billy’s contribution over the past three years.

“Billy rejected this and has exercised his right to run down his contract with a view to joining Sunderland.

“We’re obviously disappointed by Billy’s decision but wish him well in his future career.

“With there being no guarantees that Billy would re-sign, we have been preparing for this scenario and will pursue the options we have been exploring in the right-back position.”

Jones joined Albion on a free transfer in the summer of 2011. During his three seasons at the club, he made 70 starts and four sub appearances, scoring once.