After appointing Valerien Ismael last week, things are starting to look up for West Brom as they make their preparations ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
The Frenchman was responsible for Barnsley’s meteoric rise up the table last season and with this positive Championship experience under his belt, he will now be hoping to guide the Baggies to promotion after their disappointing relegation back to the second tier last month.
Keeping hold of key players including Matheus Pereira and Sam Johnstone could be vital this summer as they look to secure this instant promotion – and new manager Ismael will be looking to recruit a few players in the process.
Quiz: What was the score the last time West Brom played each of these 25 teams?
By the looks of it, the club already has its eyes on a few players, so with this in mind, let’s take a look at three transfer developments we have seen at the Hawthorns in recent days.
O’Neill takes Clucas stance
Although Stoke City midfielder Clucas could be available for just £3m this summer according to Football Insider, manager Michael O’Neill is keen to keep him beyond the summer and West Brom could have a fight on their hands if they want to land the 30-year-old.
The midfielder has one year left on his contract – but could move on this summer so his current side can avoid losing him for free next year.
Clucas endured a tough season in the 2020/21 campaign with injuries but has been a reliable player at the bet365 Stadium on the whole and may want to move on this summer to start afresh.
He was signed in 2018 with the expectation of going back up after Gary Rowett splashed the cash that summer – but it didn’t work out and the 30-year-old has been stuck in the Championship ever since.
The Baggies could give him a quicker route back to the Premier League as the midfielder turns 30.
Mowatt set to leave Tykes
Alex Mowatt is set to leave Barnsley with his contract expiring in just a few days – and the Tykes have no manager in place to help sort the situation out.
He was a crucial player under Valerien Ismael last season, scoring eight goals and picking up seven assists as he fired the South Yorkshire side to the play-offs, and the duo could reunite at the Hawthorns.
According to The Athletic, the Baggies are interested in the 26-year-old and could make a pre-contract offer right now to secure his services for the next season and beyond.
Not only was the midfielder a dangerous option going forward last season, but he’s also Barnsley’s current captain and his leadership skills could be dearly needed if the West Midlands side want to go back up next year.
On a free transfer, this could be one of the signings of the summer if they can pull it off – and the appointment of Ismael at West Brom may just give them an edge over other interested sides.
Ismael interested in Bryan
Well, the Frenchman certainly isn’t messing about in this window.
The new manager has already identified Kean Bryan as someone he wants to acquire this summer and with his deal at Sheffield United running out in a matter of days, now could be the time for the club to pounce and lure him away from their promotion-chasing rivals.
The 24-year-old fully broke through at the Blades last season and made 13 appearances – but he could move on this summer after failing to agree a new contract.
According to the Sheffield Star, his current side want to push him for a decision soon on this new deal – and they could potentially withdraw this contract offer if he takes much longer to decide.
With Slavisa Jokanovic now in place, he wants to know his players’ intentions and mindsets from the outset, so it will be interesting to see what happens with this one.