Albion’s search for Dan Ashworth’s replacement is set to continue after Brentford’s Mark Warburton was ruled out of the race.
The Bees’ sporting and technical director held talks with the Baggies this week about succeeding Ashworth, who is due to leave for the FA next summer.
But Warburton is no longer in the running with chairman Jeremy Peace’s hunt for a new technical chief set to extend into 2013.
Warburton, an ex-City trader who headed Watford’s academy before moving to Griffin Park, impressed Baggies directors during informal talks over Ashworth’s job, which is set to become vacant next year.
But Peace and his board have decided to look elsewhere as they draw up a shortlist for the key role.
Hamburg technical chief Lee Congerton was a leading contender but the German club are reluctant to let him leave, while Celtic chief scout John Park, former Liverpool sporting director Damien Comolli and Andy Marriott, who assisted Ashworth at The Hawthorns, have all been linked.
Head coach Steve Clarke said: “I haven’t met with anyone as regards to the job. “The board are looking after it. I would expect, if they were going to appoint someone, I’d speak to them.”
Clarke today hailed defender Gareth McAuley –as an inspiration to lower-division players targeting a top-flight breakthrough.
McAuley, 33, turned pro with Lincoln at 24 and played more than 250 Football League games for City, Leicester and Ipswich before getting his top-flight chance with Albion at the age of 31.
“If you are determined enough and get the breaks Gareth has shown you can do it.”