Schaaf moves to top of West Brom shortlist

West Bromwich Albion are close to appointing former Werder Bremen manager Thomas Schaaf as their new boss, Sky Sports has reported.

The Baggies sacked Steve Clarke in December after four straight defeats, with Keith Downing taking caretaker charge in the intervening period. Downing has recorded three draws and a win in the Premier League since stepping in for Clarke, but Albion were knocked out of the FA Cup by Crystal Palace in their last fixture.

A number of names were said to be close to filling the vacancy, including former West Ham and Watford boss Gianfranco Zola, who resigned from the Hornets earlier in the season, and Quique Flores, the ex-Valencia Coach in charge of United Arab Emirates side Al-Ain.

Schaaf and West Brom are said to have had talks over the position on Tuesday in London. The 52-year-old is out of work after leaving Bremen last season following a 14-year spell as Coach. Prior to that Schaaf was a player for the club, his only employers in a 17-year career.

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