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Mark Warburton in talks with West Brom over Dan Ashworth's job

Sport | Published:

Brentford sporting director Mark Warburton today emerged as the latest candidate in the race to replace Dan Ashworth at West Bromwich Albion.

The Baggies have held talks with the former City trader about taking over from Ashworth, who is set to leave for the FA next year.

Warburton is a former academy manager at Watford and the brains behind the NextGen Series, which pits academy teams from clubs across Europe against each other.

Chairman Jeremy Peace hopes to make headway on an appointment in the next few weeks, with Albion hopeful the new man can spend time working alongside Ashworth before he leaves for his new role at the St George's Park National Football Centre.

That move is still scheduled for the summer, although FA officials are still keen to bring it forwards.

That would depend, however, on the Baggies making a quick decision.

Warburton's first football experience came as a part-time coach at Watford but he rose through the ranks at Vicarage Road, quitting his job in the financial sector and becoming a key figure in the development of the Hornets' academy.

He was a coach at Brentford under Nicky Forster before being promoted to the sporting director's role.

Ashworth, who is leading the drive to find his own successor, has presented several candidates to his fellow directors, who are now believed to be narrowing down the list before pressing ahead with an appointment.

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Hamburg sporting director Lee Congerton, who previously worked at Chelsea, was strongly tipped for the job but the German club refused him permission to speak to the Baggies.

Former Liverpool and West Ham director Damien Comolli's name has also been mentioned, although he is thought to be an outsider.

And Andy Marriott, who spent a season at The Hawthorns as Ashworth's assistant before leaving for the Mercedes Formula One team, is thought to be keen.

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