West Bromwich Albion have been dealt yet another blow in their bid to appoint a new manager at The Hawthorns this summer.
That’s according to a claim made by Sky Sports reporter Rob Dorsett, who revealed in a post on Twitter that Michael Appleton has informed the Baggies hierarchy that he does not wish to take on the vacant role at The Hawthorns.
According to Dorsett, the 45-year-old Lincoln City manager wants to remain with his current side in order to see through his ongoing project with the Imps, who narrowly missed out on promotion to the Championship under the former West Brom U23 coach last season.
It’s been rather challenging to keep up with all the managers who have reportedly turned down the offer of becoming Sam Allardyce’s successor at The Hawthorns this summer, with Appleton being the latest addition to a list that includes the likes of Roy Hodgson, Frank Lampard and David Wagner.
In addition to this glut of rejection, the club’s owner, Guochuan Lai, and the Baggies chief executive, Xu Ke, now appear to be conducting the search for their next manager on their own, following the recent departure of the club’s sporting and technical director Luke Dowling.
However, when looking for a positive in all this mess, one thing that stands out is the rapidly reducing size of Lai’s shortlist, with the businessman ruling out the likes of Swansea City’s Steve Cooper and Barnsley’s Valerien Ismael due to the fact he would have to pay compensation to bring them to the club.
As such, one of the only viable candidates left remaining is the former Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder, a candidate whom the West Brom owner had originally vetoed the Championship side making a move for.
However, the possibility of Lai making a u-turn on his decision regarding the 53-year-old could well be put to the test in the coming days, and likely depends on how firmly against paying a fee to bring in the club’s next manager the owner really is.
If he sticks to his guns, in addition to all of the other available managers rejecting the club’s advances, Lai may not have a choice to appoint Wilder at The Hawthorns, something that would very much appear to be a considerable silver lining to Appleton’s rejection.