Sheffield United's promotion rivals West Brom 'close' to appointing Barnsley's Valérien Ismaël as new boss

Valérien Ismaël, the Barnsley manager, is understood to be close to being unveiled as the new manager of Sheffield United’s Championship rivals West Bromwich Albion manager after talks between the two clubs over levels compensation progressed over the weekend.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 3:16 pm

Ismaël, the French manager who earned rave reviews after leading Barnsley to the Championship play-offs last season, emerged as the leading candidate for the Hawthorns role after Chris Wilder and David Wagner were not appointed.

Sam Allardyce left the club in the summer after their relegation to the Championship and after an agreement over compensation was reached, West Brom will now be able to speak to Ismaël directly.

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But the Frenchman is thought to be keen on the move, and the chance to lead Albion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Appointing Ismaël would end a turbulent few weeks at the Hawthorns, with sporting director Luke Dowling quitting recently after the Baggies’ move for former United boss Wilder was vetoed by the club’s owners - apparently because of concerns over how his time at Bramall Lane came to an end.

Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael is reportedly close to taking over at West Brom (Getty)
Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael is reportedly close to taking over at West Brom (Getty)