By Wayne Veysey

20th Jun, 2021 | 8:10am

Sources: West Brom close to appointing Ismael after reaching agreement in principle

West Brom are close to appointing Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael as their new manager after reaching an agreement in principle, Football Insider understands.

The Baggies have targeted the Frenchman, 45, following a series of false dawns in their search for successor to Sam Allardyce.

A West Brom source has told Football Insider that a deal is now all but done for Ismael to take over following developments on Saturday.

He has agreed contractual terms with Albion chiefs and they are now approaching Barnsley to discuss releasing him from his contract.

The Championship outfit will need to make a significant payment to their second-tier rivals amid reports of a £2million release clause in his Oakwell deal.

West Brom fans have endured a number of twists and turns in the club’s manager search since the season ended.

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Football Insider revealed yesterday (19th June) that former Everton boss Marco Silva has been contacted as a fall-back option in case Ismael negotiations collapse.

A move to appoint Chris Wilder was vetoed by the Chinese owner Guochuan Lai, leading to the departure of sporting director Luke Dowling last week.

David Wagner held talks before choosing Young Boys instead and there were also discussions with Lincoln City manager Michael Appleton and another old boy Derek McInnes. 

Ismael has crucial Championship experience and won many admirers for the remarkable recent campaign he oversaw at minnows Barnsley.

He took over at Barnsley last October and guided them from the relegation to fifth and the play-offs after overseeing an extraordinary turnaround.

Silva has not managed in the Championship but has extensive English experience through previous posts at Everton, Watford and Hull City.

In other news, West Brom make shock decisions on manager and director of football hires.