West Bromwich Albion are edging closer to appointing Valerien Ismael as the new manager at The Hawthorns.
That’s according to a claim made by The Sun journalist Alan Nixon, who revealed in a post on Twitter that the compensation agreement between West Brom and Barnsley should be sorted imminently.
An earlier report by Football Insider claimed that this compensation fee would be around £2m, with Nixon adding that the gap between the two clubs was minimal during talks at the weekend.
The journalist tweeted: “West Brom. Valerien Ismael. Compo deal with Barnsley should be sorted soon. Gap small at weekend… all sides need it resolved.”
Considering just how long West Brom’s managerial search has dragged on so far this summer, reports that a deal for Ismael appears to be nearing competition is something which should have fans of the club buzzing.
Indeed, not only does the 45-year-old appear to be an exceptional coach, having taken a highly unfancied Barnsley side to the play-off semi-finals last season, the Frenchman also appears to be a manager who favours the development of youngsters, as well as one who can get the most out of a squad assembled on a tight budget.
Having arrived at Barnsley after the closure of the summer transfer window last year, Ismael’s only three signings in January were 21-year-old Forest Green Rovers centre-back Liam Kitching, 25-year-old Norwich City striker Carlton Morris and the 20-year-old loan signing of Orlando City centre-forward Daryl Dike, with Barnsley not paying a penny in transfer fees for the trio.
As such, given West Brom’s presumably larger transfer budget, as well as a squad brimming with Premier League quality, it would very much seem as if the club’s chances of going on to secure a return to the top flight next season could dramatically increase if Ismael is given the job at The Hawthorns this summer.