West Brom hoping to install new boss soon after season finishes
Albion have started to contact candidates for their vacant managerial position and hope to appoint a new head coach soon after the season ends.
The Baggies are beginning to narrow down their shortlist and currently plan to make an announcement early in the summer in order to give the new man plenty of time to assess his squad ahead of a tricky summer.
It's believed Brentford's Dean Smith and Bristol City's Lee Johnson are in the running, as is Leicester City No.2 Michael Appleton.
Reports the club are interested in Everton boss Sam Allardyce and former AC Milan manager Siniša Mihajlović are wide of the mark.
Albion are also considering Darren Moore for the role following his four-game unbeaten start to life in charge of the team.
But the board are wary of the differences between the caretaker's role and that of a permanent boss, who will likely be in charge of a 46-game season in the Championship.
Moore has received the backing of senior players like Ben Foster, and is expected to be retained among the coaching staff.
He is unlikely to go through the same formal interview process as other candidates because he is already well known to chief executive Mark Jenkins and easily accessible at the training ground.
It's believed Smith. Johnson and Appleton would all welcome an approach from the Baggies.
Neither Brentford nor Bristol City can make the Championship play-offs this season, and there is uncertainty at Leicester where Claude Puel is under fire.
Both Smith and Johnson have publicly responded to the links with Albion.
“I’m a little bit disappointed I haven’t been linked with the Arsenal job,” Smith quipped to Football London.
“There’s always speculation and somebody’s probably put 4p on me to get the job and the odds have come down. That is how things go in football.
“I’m really enjoying myself here. We have a really good club. Matthew Benham has been brilliant with me as have the directors of football.
"We all work very well together and, as people can see, it’s come to fruition on the pitch at the moment.”
Johnson, meanwhile, insisted he was very happy at Ashton Gate.
He said: “It’s just speculation. I’m very happy here. I’ve got two years left of my contract and it’s a brilliant club.
“It’s a project and I’m already looking forward to next season.
“I’m excited about next season already. There’s been so much work that’s been going on behind the scenes. I don’t read newspapers.”
Meanwhile, season ticket holders planning to renew their seats for next season have been urged to keep their stile cards over summer because they can be remotely reactivated.