West Bromwich Albion have been dealt a blow in their bid to bring Jack Hendry to The Hawthorns this summer.
That’s according to a report by TEAMtalk, who claimed that Club Brugge, Anderlecht and Royal Antwerp have all made a move for the KV Oostende centre-back, while Aston Villa are also thought to have joined the race for the 26-year-old’s signature.
A host of Championship clubs, including West Brom, Sheffield United and Fulham, were previously reported to be keen on a move for the former Celtic defender in the summer transfer window, although the relegated trio could now be gazumped by teams offering the prospect of top-flight or even European football.
With Ismael typically operating with a system which utilised three centre-backs during his time at Barnsley, it would seem highly likely that the Frenchman will implement this setup at The Hawthorns next season.
With the 45-year-old not having a great deal of choice in that position at Albion, the heart of defence would very much appear to be an area where the Baggies manager will look to strengthen in the summer transfer window, with Hendry appearing to be an excellent candidate for the role.
Indeed, over his 30 Jupiler Pro League appearances for Oostende last season, the £3.15m-rated man helped his team to keep six clean sheets, along with averaging 0.6 interceptions, one tackle and 4.1 clearances and winning 4.8 duels per game.
As such, it would very much appear that the signing of Hendry would have been a perfect fit for Ismael. However, with a number of clubs interested in the centre-back who boast considerably greater pull than the Baggies, it would seem as if a deal for the Scotland international does not look overly likely at present, an outcome which will surely leave their manager gutted.