WEST BROM are set to hold talks with Chris Hughton next week about becoming their new manager.
And the Championship club are also considering Patrick Vieira for the hot-seat after missing out on promotion back to the Premier League.
The Baggies saw their hopes of returning to the top flight dashed last night as they crashed out of the play-offs on penalties to local rivals Aston Villa.
And the club want to move quickly to bring in the right man to lead a promotion challenge next season, hoping to give the new boss as much time as possible to get the squad ready.
West Brom have been without a permanent manager since they sacked Darren Moore in March, with Jimmy Shan left in charge on a caretaker basis.
But they are moving quickly to speak with Hughton just days after his shock dismissal by Brighton despite keeping the club in the Premier League.
The 60-year-old’s track record in the Championship is impressive, having steered the Seagulls and Newcastle to promotion.
He also shrugged off crippling financial problems while in charge at Birmingham to get the club into the play-offs.
The club are determined to get back in the top division, and are ready to back the new manager with funds to build a squad capable of delivering.
Hughton’s record and availability makes him a leading candidate, but there is also a strong interest in Arsenal legend Vieira.
The French World Cup winner has impressed the West Brom board with his work as a manager in America and France.
His three year stint in charge of New York City ended when he took charge of Nice, who he steered to a seventh-placed finish in Ligue 1 last season.
A move to a strong Championship club could be appealing to Vieira, 42, so long as he gets assurances he would be able to build his own squad to challenge for promotion.
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There is expected to be a big overhaul of the playing staff this summer with four regulars – Dwight Gayle, Mason Holgate, Stefan Johansen and Jacob Murphy – all ending loan spells with the club.
Jay Rodriguez and Craig Dawson are two of the senior players who are also likely to attract interest from the Premier League.