Valerien Ismael keen on Alex Mowatt reunion at West Brom

New Albion boss Valerien Ismael is targeting a reunion with midfielder Alex Mowatt, his former captain at Barnsley.

Alex Mowatt of Barnsley.
Alex Mowatt of Barnsley.

Ismael was officially announced as the Baggies new head coach yesterday after the club agreed to pay the Tykes £2million in compensation.

In a statement confirming that appointment, Ismael and chief executive Xu Ke admitted additions this summer will be crucial if Albion are to be successful next season.

And that process is now well underway with the boss hoping to make Mowatt one of his first signings.

The 26-year-old is a free agent with his contract at Oakwell due to expire next month.

It is his performances for Barnsley last season though – and not his fee – that are making him one of Albion's primary transfer targets.

The former Leeds midfielder scored eight goals and registered seven assists from central midfield last year.

His energy and work rate was also key to Ismael's high energy, high pressing, style.

It is understood a host of other Championship clubs are interested in signing Mowatt this summer, while Barnsley have also made him an offer to stay.

But Albion are believed to be the favourites to land his signature due to the arrival of Ismael and their likely status as one of the favourites for promotion.

Midfield is an area Ismael is going to have to strengthen before the season gets underway.

As it stands, Jake Livermore, Romaine Sawyers and Rekeem Harper are the only out-and-out central midfielders in the squad – with Harper understood to be closing in on a move to Ipswich.

Robert Snodgrass can also play centrally but has played the majority of his football on the wing.

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