West Brom set to announce Valerian Ismael as boss

Valerien Ismael is likely to be announced as Albion’s new manager today.

Valerien Ismael
Valerien Ismael

The Express & Star revealed yesterday the Baggies have paid the full £2million required to free the 45-year-old from his contract with Barnsley.

Both Albion and Ismael have spent the last 24 hours ironing out the finer details of his contract and the contracts that will be awarded to his backroom team.

And that is likely to mean the Baggies will formally announce Ismael as Sam Allardyce’s successor today.

Albion’s hunt for a new boss has been a drawn out one – with owner Guochuan Lai initially vetoing a move for Chris Wilder. The club then entered advanced talks with David Wagner before he turned them down to join Young Boys in Switzerland.

But following the departure of sporting and technical director Luke Dowling, chief executive Xu Ke made Ismael his number one target to be Albion’s next boss. And now they look to have finally landed their man.

Another manager considered for the role was Lincoln’s Michael Appleton.

The former Baggies midfielder is a close friend of Dowling but hopes to still have a close relationship with the club despite the technical director’s departure.

Appleton signed Albion trio Alex Palmer, Callum Morton and Jamie Soule on loan last season.

Asked if it would be more difficult to sign Baggies youngsters without Dowling’s presence, Appleton said: “The obvious answer is yes. That’s not necessarily because Luke’s not there, my concern now is who deals with that.

“I’ve known Luke for a long time and it’s easy for me to make contact with him.

“The question now is, who do I make contact with? But at the end of the day, I like to think I’ve got a decent affinity with the club.

“Over the years I’ve taken players from West Brom, not just Alex Palmer and Callum Morton.”

Appleton also signed players on loan from Albion while in charge of Oxford.

“We had Tyler Roberts and he ended up getting a move to Leeds United, and Kemar Roofe (now of Rangers),” he added.

“West Brom have certainly benefited from loans I’ve taken in the past and hopefully that will continue in the future.”

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