Albion are back to square one in their search for a striker after failing to land Bournemouth’s top scorer Lewis Grabban.

His proposed £1.1 million move along the South Coast collapsed over personal terms.

Grabban agreed a new three-and-a-half year contract with Bournemouth on Saturday instead, then scored a penalty and had another saved in their 1-1 home draw with Watford.

It leaves Albion racing against time to sign a replacement for the departed Ashley Barnes before the January transfer window shuts.

Cardiff’s Joe Mason is high on their list of targets and would fit in with the wage structure, although The Argus understands he would cost in the region of £2.5 million.

Grabban, who started talks with Albion in Cobham last Thursday and then went to The Amex for his medical, believes he has made the right decision after the Seagulls’ £1.1 million bid activated a release clause in his old contract allowing him to speak to other clubs.

He said: “It was just about thinking about my future and what was going to be best. Inevitably, I decided my future would be best here (Bournemouth).

“I think what people don’t understand sometimes is that in those situations you have to see what other people are saying. You can’t just be blind to what’s going on around you.

“That’s how football is and it can be tough sometimes, but I think the outcome has been positive.”