West Brom are expected to seek a manager with Premier League experience to steer them away from the relegation zone after axing head coach Tony Pulis.
Pressure upon the experienced Pulis had intensified in recent weeks after a run of form which has seen the Baggies fail to win a Premier League clash in 10 attempts.
Factoring in West Brom’s slump towards the end of last season, the Midlands outfit have claimed victory in just two of their last 21 top-flight fixtures. They currently sit 17th in the table, one place and a solitary point above the drop zone.
Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill and Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes, who spent three years with West Brom as a player, have been named among the early favourites to take the reins at The Hawthorns.
But West Brom are believed to favour a candidate who was previously managed in the Premier League, parameters that would rule out both O’Neill and McInnes.
The likes of Republic of Ireland tactician Martin O’Neill, former Crystal Palace and West Ham boss Alan Pardew and ex-West Brom assistant manager Nigel Pearson, who is currently with Belgian second division side OH Leuven, are potential candidates.
Confirming Pulis’s departure from West Brom, chairman John Williams said: “These decisions are never taken lightly but always in the interests of the club.
“We are in a results business and over the back end of last season and this season to date, ours have been very disappointing. We would like to place on record our appreciation of Tony’s contribution and hard work during a period of transition for the club.”
Pulis, meanwhile, has emerged as an early contender to succeed Chris Coleman, who resigned his position as Wales boss on Friday in order to take charge of Sunderland. Coleman stopped short of endorsing Pulis but insisted a fellow Welshman was his preference.
“I would like another Welshman to take over because for some years we have been promoting the Welsh way, so I think it’s a little hypocritical if we go with a foreign coach,” said Coleman.
“I think it has to stay within. We have to believe in the people we have in the system. I can’t give you a specific name because I don’t know, that will be up to the FAW [Football Association of Wales].”