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07th Jun 2019

Slaven Bilic set to take over as West Bromwich Albion manager

Kyle Picknell

The former West Ham United manager has held a second round of talks with the club and is reportedly moving closer to being announced as their new manager

Slaven Bilic, former Croatia and West Ham United manager, is close to being appointed as West Bromwich Albion’s manager as the club seek to return to the Premier League.

The Baggies lost in heartbreaking fashion in the Championship play-off semi-finals this year, going down to Midlands rivals Aston Villa on penalties under caretaker manager James Shan.

It was a devastating way to end the season following the shock sacking of fan-favourite Darren Moore in March, despite the club sitting in fourth place in the table.

Bilic has now emerged as the clear favourite to take the vacant managerial position after meeting officials at the club’s training ground on Thursday.

He isn’t, however, the only manager in contention, with former Brighton boss Chris Hughton and Bruno Labbadia – who guided Wolfsburg to a sixth-place finish in the Bundesliga this season but has now left the club after choosing not to renew his contract – both on the shortlist for the Black Country team.

Bilic’s most recent employment will be enough to give some Albion supporters cause for concern though, after an ill-fated stint in charge of Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Professional League came to an end in February after only five months in charge and just three wins from 15 games.

Despite this, Bilic became something of a national hero during his time spent managing Croatia for six years from 2006 to 2012, leading his country to the quarter-finals of Euro 2008.

He has also had success in the Premier League, too, where he guided West Ham to a seventh-place finish in only his first season in England, qualifying for the Europa League.

An 11th place position followed as the Hammers struggled to adapt to their new, rather spacious surroundings at the London Stadium along with star player Dimitri Payet leaving midway through the campaign before Bilic was sacked after a poor start in his third season.