West Bromwich Albion are expected to confirm the signing of Valerien Ismael imminently.
That’s according to a report by the Express & Star, who claim that the Baggies have paid the full £2m compensation fee to release the 45-year-old from his contract at Barnsley, and have been ironing out the finer details of the deals of the Frenchman and his backroom team over the past 24 hours.
The report goes on to state that, aside from any last-minute snags, these negotiations should mean that Ismael is officially announced as Sam Allardyce’s successor at The Hawthorns on Wednesday.
After an extremely tedious search to appoint the club’s next manager, a hunt that saw moves for the likes of Chris Wilder, David Wagner, Roy Hodgson, Frank Lampard and Michael Appleton all fall through due to a variety of different circumstances, the fact that Guochuan Lai and Xu Ke appear to have finally got a deal over the line for one of their targets is sure to leave fans of the club buzzing.
Indeed, with the summer transfer window already having opened, now that the club seemingly have a new coach in place, the Baggies can begin to put together a list of targets to try and bring into the club this summer, as well as the 45-year-old potentially putting up a number of the West Brom players up for sale if he believes they do not fit his system.
The appointment also means that the Championship side will be able to begin their pre-season preparations with the knowledge that everything they do will be part of Ismael’s personal plans, rather than the players simply doing fitness work while the club wait to appoint a manager who would then implement his own training.
As such, if the Baggies do indeed go on to appoint the Frenchman on Wednesday as expected, it would appear to be a very positive step for the club, as Albion can finally begin to look ahead to next season rather than being stuck thinking about their recent relegation under Allardyce.
Ismael worked wonders at Barnsley and Albion fans should be buzzing at this appointment.