Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael has been placed on West Brom’s list of potential managerial targets for the summer if they do not manage to convince Sam Allardyce to remain in charge, per The Sun on Sunday (18/04/21, p67).
Ismael has seen his stock as a manager rise throughout the last few months after guiding the Tykes to the brink of a place in the Championship play-offs. That has already seen the 45-year-old be linked with a potential move to Crystal Palace in the summer to replace Roy Hodgson if he steps down as manager at Selhurst Park.
It has now emerged that West Brom could make a move for Ismael in the summer. That comes with the Baggies looking likely to be heading back to the Championship, despite having managed to claim back-to-back wins in their last two Premier League games. It is being reported by The Sun on Sunday (18/04/21, p67) that the Barnsley boss is one of the names being added to their wishlist.
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However, the report also suggests that West Brom are hoping they can convince Allardyce to remain their manager for next term if they drop down to the Championship. It is thought that the former England boss would need to be made aware of what his potential budget would be in the summer transfer window before he makes a decision on his future.
It is no surprise to see clubs now starting to take a real interest in Ismael, and Barnsley might have to earn promotion to the Premier League to be assured of keeping hold of him. However, they will feel they are in a strong place to fend off interest from a side that are likely to suffer relegation back to the second tier.
West Brom might not even make a move for in the end, if Allardyce decides to remain in charge at the Hawthorns. Barnsley will be hopeful that proves to be the case with them not wanting to spend the summer worrying about the potential future of their manager.
Losing Ismael would be a massive blow for the Tykes, but it is difficult to see him switching Oakwell for West Brom especially if Barnsley goes on to earn promotion. That seems the best way that the club can be assured of keeping hold of him for at least another season.