Alex Mowatt closing in on West Brom switch

Alex Mowatt is expected to undergo a medical with Albion today as manager Valerien Ismael closes in on a reunion with his former skipper.

Barnsley's Alex Mowatt during the Sky Bet Championship match at the John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield. Picture date: Wednesday April 21, 2021..
Barnsley's Alex Mowatt during the Sky Bet Championship match at the John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield. Picture date: Wednesday April 21, 2021..

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

And the 45-year-old is now set to raid his former side to make Mowatt his first signing at The Hawthorns.

The midfielder is a free agent with his contract at Oakwell having officially expired today.

But while the lack of a transfer fee is of course appealing, it’s Mowatt’s performances for Barnsley last season that have made him a primary target for the Baggies this summer.

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 have tried to sign Mowatt this summer, while Barnsley also made him an offer to stay.

But the arrival of Ismael and Albion’s status as one of the favourites for promotion has enticed Mowatt to The Hawthorns.

Speaking last season, the midfielder expressed how much he was enjoying working under Ismael.

“I have really enjoyed working with him,” Mowatt said.

“Training is intense and he doesn’t take any c**p from the lads.

“That’s shown in the games as well.

“All the players respect the gaffer, he’s a big scary lad.”

Barnsley’s squad met for their first day of pre-season yesterday but it is understood Mowatt didn’t take part in the training session having already told the club he plans to move on.

Albion begin pre-season training today – where Ismael will meet his new players in person for the first time.

But the French-born 45-year-old, who has German citizenship, did speak to the squad via video calls last week while quarantining having returned to the UK from Germany.

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