West Brom chasing ex-Sheff Utd boss Chris Wilder to lead charge back to Premier League after relegation and Big Sam exit

WEST BROM are facing a tough battle to talk Chris Wilder into leading them back to the Premier League.

Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael may be approached instead if Wilder does not have the appetite to replace Sam Allardyce.

Wilder and Ismael are at the top of the Baggies’ shortlist after Allardyce decided to leave following the first relegation of his career.

West Brom chiefs would prefer to make a quick appointment.

But Wilder is willing to wait for a Premier League job as he thinks he has proved himself since taking Sheffield United to a top-ten finish in his first season in the top flight.

And the shrewd boss has told pals he may even hold out for the first round of sackings next season — with Newcastle a potential move in his sights.

Wilder, who left in March, is still being paid by the Blades but that should not be a problem if he decides to take on a post before that arrangement runs out.

A big offer from the Baggies could swing it but they are offering £25,000 a week plus a bonus for going up — which is much less than Wilder was on at Bramall Lane.

Main rival Ismael has done a remarkable job at Barnsley and could be tempted to move to a club with a bigger budget.

However, Frenchman Ismael is also a serious contender for the Crystal Palace vacancy — and could yet get that call while he waits on West Brom to commit.

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Another possible is former Fulham chief Slavisa Jokanovic — now in Qatar — who is also in talks with Sheffield United.

Albion want experience but could yet speak to Aston Villa assistant John Terry if they cannot agree terms with those who have a promotion on their CV.

Meanwhile, QPR are set to sign veteran keeper Andy Lonergan, 37, after he leaves West Brom.

The former Liverpool reserve would take on the challenge of fighting Seny Dieng for a game at the R’s after the departure of No 2 choice Joe Lumley.

Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

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