After a long, protracted recruitment process that saw directors ‘on the ground’ in the UK overruled by Lai, Albion settled on Wagner this week despite the German having not been on the original shortlist.
The former Huddersfield manager looked set to land the job but The Athletic learned last night that Wagner’s representatives were keen for a speedy resolution to talks with other clubs keen to secure his services.
Wagner is also keen to work as close as possible to his family in Germany and now seems to have decided Young Boys are a better option at this stage of his career.
Who are West Brom’s alternative replacements?
At this stage Albion appear short on fall-back options given that most of Wagner’s fellow contenders have effectively been ruled out by Lai, the club’s Chinese owner.
Lai vetoed the appointment of Chris Wilder despite the former Sheffield United boss being the clear choice of the club’s UK-based board with talks at an advanced stage before Lai insisted on a change of direction.
Lai’s reluctance to pay compensation to land Allardyce’s replacement ruled out Lincoln’s Michael Appleton, Swansea’s Steve Cooper and Barnsley’s Valerien Ismael while former Albion boss Roy Hodgson was approached but informed the club he wants a longer break following his exit from Crystal Palace before considering whether to return to management.
Frank Lampard and Eddie Howe were keen to wait for opportunities in the Premier League, leaving Alex Neil and Wagner as Albion’s remaining serious contenders.
With Neil having annoyed Albion in 2019 when he flirted with moving to The Hawthorns before signing an improved contract with Preston, Wagner emerged as Albion’s choice.
Former Albion captain Derek McInnes, who left Aberdeen earlier this year, is available without the need for compensation and would be a romantic appointment but has not worked in England since.
Albion will now need to turn to a left-field candidate such as McInnes or persuade Lai to change his mind on one of the candidates previously ruled out.
What are fans saying?
The prospect of Wagner becoming Allardyce’s successor had not been well received by the majority of the Albion fanbase so there is an element of relief that it now seems set not to happen.
But fans are also becoming increasingly frustrated at what appears to be a muddled process, largely due to Lai’s involvement from China, having not visited the club or attended a game for more than two years.
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Source : https://theathletic.com/news/west-brom-david-wagner-next-manager/biIENWgkjFIY462