Real Madrid coach Paul Clement today emerged as a possible contender to be West Bromwich Albion’s new boss after revealing he is ready to try his hand at management.
Clement, who helped Real win the European Cup on Saturday, is believed to be interested in the Hawthorns hotseat as he eyes up his first job as a ‘No.1’.
The 42-year-old, who is the brother of former Baggies defender Neil Clement, was installed as odds-on favourite to succeed Pepe Mel last night as bookmakers slashed his price.
Clement, who has assisted Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris Saint Germain and Real, has long coveted a chance to manage his own side.
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And, in the wake of Real’s Champions League final win against Atletico Madrid on Saturday, he said: “I think the time for me to be a No.1 is soon.
“A few opportunities have come my way, but this (Real) is a difficult place to leave.
“It’s a great club, a great city, a great tradition and it gives you the opportunity to win things.
“I’m not ruling anything out. It’s more than likely it will be in England, but if a nice opportunity came up in another country I wouldn’t rule it out.
“Carlo has given me a lot of confidence and given me the belief that one day I can do it.
“But he hasn’t kicked me out of the door just yet.”
Clement failed to make the grade as a professional player and left football to train as a teacher before returning to the game as a coach with Chelsea’s academy.
He assisted Guus Hiddink briefly during the Dutchman’s first-team reign at Stamford Bridge but became a key member of the first-team staff under Ancelotti, who then took Clement to Paris and Madrid.
He has carved out a reputation as an excellent coach and is likely to be of interest to Albion, who hope to complete a seven-man shortlist this week before narrowing the search down to three candidates to be interviewed by chairman Jeremy Peace.
But his lack of any managerial experience could count against him in the final reckoning.
Clement has also been linked strongly with the manager’s job at defeated Championship play-off semi-finalists Brighton.