Albion chairman Dick Knight still expects skipper Dean Hammond to leave - despite the capture of Glenn Murray.

Hammond, out of contract at the end of the season when he will be entitled to a free transfer, is up for sale after refusing to sign a new deal.

The 24-year-old midfielder wants to be convinced of Albion's ambition to get back into the Championship but Knight does not believe Murray's arrival will prompt a U-turn.

Knight said: "I think Dean Hammond has already made his mind up. I made an offer reflecting his importance as the club captain. He has declined to sign that offer.

"I am not going to give him away but the club has no alternative but to put him on the transfer list.

"If he decides to change his mind I will, of course, be delighted. No-one wants him to leave the club but the club is not going to be held to ransom by any player."

Knight regards Murray as Albion's most significant signing since Bobby Zamora. He said: "I saw him two or three times before last Christmas and that was also the time we were tracking Nicky Forster, so I am glad to have brought them together at last.

"Rochdale are having a very good season with a genuine prospect of getting promotion. They had a fans' forum on Monday night and everyone was so upbeat, because they haven't been out of League Two for 39 years, so you can understand why they were so reluctant to sell. They know what a wonderful player he is.

"We are aiming to get back into the Championship as soon as possible and this type of signing states our intent in no uncertain terms. This guy is a very high quality player and I consider it money well spent."

Albion have until Thursday to make further permanent additions to the squad and Knight is hoping to sign another striker.

He said: "I'm not going to go into details but we are still in negotiations to further strengthen the squad before the window closes."