West Brom and Chris Wilder are edging closer to finalising a deal that will see the former Sheffield United boss installed as the club’s manager for the new Championship season.
Albion have been conducting interviews with the names on their short-list this week as they seek the ideal candidate to replace the outgoing Sam Allardyce and give the club its best chance of returning to the Premier League at the first attempt.
On that shortlist have included Wilder and former Chelsea and Derby County boss Frank Lampard, and the pair have been the front-runners to fill the vacancy.
The Yorkshireman now appears to be the overwhelming favourite, and though Albion haven’t completed their interviewing process it is expected that both parties will iron out a deal for first-choice Wilder after he explained his plan to lead the club back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
Wilder is understood to have plenty of admiration from within the Albion hierarchy for his managerial achievements to date; he achieved promotion with both Northampton Town and Oxford United before he lifted boyhood club Sheffield United out of League One and, within three seasons, had guided them to the top half of the Premier League.
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The 53-year-old parted with the Blades, who were the only side to finish below Albion in the table last season, in March but he is keen to return to work. He has been on Albion’s radar for quite some time, after those links that emerged in the summer of 2019 prior to Albion appointing Slaven Bilic, though he had just guided United to the top flight.
Meanwhile, Albion have confirmed their release and retain list after the culmination of the 2020-21 campaign; they’ve released 21 players, including seven from the first-team in Hal Robson-Kanu, Charlie Austin, Kyle Edwards, Branislav Ivanovic, Lee Peltier, Kamil Grosicki and Andy Lonergan. Kieran Gibbs and Sam Field have already agreed moves elsewhere.