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Chris Hughton on West Brom's radar

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published: | Last Updated:

Albion have turned their attention to their managerial search following play-off defeat – with Chris Hughton and Danny Cowley among the early contenders.

Chris Hughton. (AMA)

The Baggies are preparing for a second season in the Championship after losing to rivals Aston Villa on penalties, and the board are now deciding which approach to take.

Hughton, who was sacked by Brighton & Hove Albion this week, will be sounded out after winning promotion out of the Championship with both the Seagulls and Newcastle United.

His experience in the second tier makes the 60-year-old a safe pair of hands, although there is no special emphasis on him at this stage.

Cowley, who has delivered two promotions in three years at Lincoln City, is also on the radar.

The 40-year-old would be a bolder choice for Albion, who are keen to bring in fresh ideas to help rebuild the club.

His contract at Sincil Bank runs until 2022, so the Baggies would need to stump up a compensation fee.

Cowley is ambitious and keen to manage at the highest level, but moved his family to Lincoln last summer and is already planning for next season.

They are not the only candidates under consideration, with Albion also contemplating appointing a coach from abroad who could re-invigorate the club.

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Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira has also been linked with the Baggies, although he’s currently employed by Nice and may prove difficult to prise out of the French club.

The Baggies are keen to appoint a manager early in the summer to give their man the longest run-up possible to next season.

Albion’s squad is expected to be overhauled in the transfer window.

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Loanees such as Dwight Gayle, Stefan Johansen, Jacob Murphy, Tosin Adarabioyo and Jefferson Montero are currently on course to return to their parent clubs.

Jay Rodriguez, Ahmed Hegazi, Matt Phillips, Kieran Gibbs, Jake Livermore, and Craig Dawson could all have Premier League suitors.

There will be calls for Albion to try and sign Gayle permanently following his 24-goal campaign, but his Premier League wages could prove a sticking point.

However, Albion will be financially competitive next season thanks to their second round of parachute payments worth £34million, down from this year’s payment of £41.5m.

The Baggies are confident they can make up that shortfall in player sales, with Salomon Rondon’s £16.5m release clause expected to be met.

Caretaker boss Jimmy Shan has been told he can remain at the club next season as a coach should he wish to.

“We’ve had some discussions,” said Shan. “There have been assurances that there will be a coaching role of some capacity in the football club for myself.

“Those discussions will heat up over the next few days and we’ll see where we’re at.

“I’m employed by the club so whatever role deemed fit for James Shan, I’ll do it to the best of my ability.”

Shan has previously admitted his spell in charge as caretaker has given him a taste for management.

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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