West Bromwich Albion plan to meet Chris Hughton next week to discuss the possibility of him becoming their manager. Hughton is out of work after surprisingly being sacked by Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday, less than 24 hours after the Premier League season finished, and West Brom have identified the 60-year-old as a leading contender for their vacancy.
West Brom’s semi-final play-off defeat against Aston Villa on penalties on Tuesday night means that the club can start to plan for next season in the Championship, and Hughton’s track record of winning two promotions from that division in the past, with Newcastle and then Brighton, makes him a strong candidate to oversee what will be a rebuilding job at the Hawthorns.
Although Hughton was bitterly disappointed to be dismissed at Brighton, it is believed that he is keen to return to work. How quickly he plans to do that remains to be seen and any initial talks with Hughton will be on an informal basis, with Albion also exploring other options. Slavisa Jokanovic, the former Fulham manager, is one of those names under consideration. Jokanovic was interviewed for the post in March, after Albion sacked Darren Moore.
Whoever takes over will need to oversee a transitional period at Albion, who had hoped to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking. There are likely to be number of departures as a result of facing another season in the second tier, with Salomón Rondón, who spent last season on loan at Newcastle, certain to leave and the future of players such as Jay Rodriguez, Kieran Gibbs, Matt Phillips and Craig Dawson in doubt.
Jimmy Shan, who took charge in a caretaker capacity after Albion failed to appoint a permanent successor to Moore, has been told that there will be a coaching role for him.