The France-born 45-year-old, who has German citizenship, is now the leading contender for the role having been identified by chief executive Xu Ke as the man to take the club forward.
Xu Ke – who is known as Ken – took charge of the manager hunt earlier this week after sporting and technical director Luke Dowling left the club by mutual consent.
And he has identified Ismael as his number one choice to succeed Sam Allardyce.
Albion, though, still need to agree compensation with Barnsley to appoint the former Crystal Palace defender.
According to reports, Ismael has a £2 million release clause in his contract.
The former Wolfsburg boss led Barnsley to the Championship playoffs last season — where they lost to Swansea.
But that achievement put him on the radar of a host of clubs with Ismael having also been considered for the vacancies at Sheffield United and Crystal Palace this summer.
Ismael made 13 appearances for Palace in 1998 during his playing career and has previously been head coach of Greek outfit Apollon Smyrnis and Austrian side LASK.