Roy Hodgson is in line for a shock return to West Brom, but only on one condition…
That’s according to The Sun, who claimed that the 73-year-old is on the Baggies’ radar should Sam Allardyce leave his post at The Hawthorns ahead of next season.
Hodgson’s four-year spell in charge of Crystal Palace is set come to an end next month, with the Eagles deciding to not extend his contract, and the veteran has no intention to retire, alerting those at Albion.
He enjoyed a successful 14 months at the Midlands outfit back in 2011/12, where he guided West Brom to their then-highest Premier League finish of tenth place.
The Baggies’ relegation to the Championship was confirmed two weeks ago, meaning it is the first on the 66-year-old’s CV. It still remains to be seen whether he has an appetite to manage at that level.
This latest claim comes as a fresh twist to developments at the Baggies, especially as there are still two games left to play before the season draws to a close.
Despite turning 74 next season, Hodgson has no desire to move upstairs into a Director of Football role and is still very hands-on at the training ground.
He would certainly be an interesting candidate but perhaps one which mightn’t appease many in the Midlands considering he has never managed in the second tier throughout his 45-year coaching career. He has also been lamented by some Crystal Palace supporters for his conservative tactics.
Names such as Chris Wilder, formerly of Sheffield United, and Barnsley up-and-comer Valerien Ismael have been mooted with The Hawthorns gig in the past and would be far more appealing, given their recent experience in the tough division.
It is thought that Big Sam will make a decision on his future before their season-ending clash with Leeds United on Sunday, but Hodgson’s link to Albion only shrouds the situation in further mystery.
Both the club and Allardyce himself can trigger a break clause in the 18-month contract he signed back in December.
Whether it’s Hodgson or Allardyce in charge at West Brom next season, fans are likely to be left underwhelmed by the lack of ambition shown by the club.
Luke Dowling and co should probably look elsewhere if they are to mount a serious challenge at an instant return to the big time.