Reports by the Telegraph have claimed West Bromwich Albion are set to hold crunch talks to decide on Sam Allardyce’s future this week.
Allardyce has impressed figures on the board at The Hawthorns with the manner in which he has inspired a turn of fortunes since his mid-season arrival, with the Baggies only tasting three defeats in their last 11 Premier League games.
The former England head coach also orchestrated a 5-2 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and held Manchester United to a draw during that run, which returned 15 points from a possible 33 – only seven teams claimed more.
But those results are unlikely to be enough to keep West Brom in the top flight for another year, with the West Midlands outfit 10 points from safety with four games to play, after coming from behind to take a point at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday.
With the Baggies also boasting the second-worst goal difference in the Premier League at minus-34, relegation seems inevitable but Allardyce is thought to be open to staying on if he receives certain assurances regarding the club’s plans.
Allardyce is expected to hold talks with West Brom this week to discuss the club’s transfer budget for the upcoming market and whether or not major sales will be necessary, while West Brom chiefs are also keen to see if he has the desire to lead a promotion challenge.
The former Everton, Crystal Palace and Sunderland head coach has not worked in the second tier since 2012 when he led West Ham to glory in the Play-Offs during his only career campaign as a Championship manager.
Allardyce’s desire – or potentially willingness – to take the step down to the Championship is likely to be the key point of focus in the planned discussions between the 66-year-old and West Brom this week, as there are no guarantees of the Baggies securing an instant return.
But what Allardyce has shown since taking charge at The Hawthorns will give West Brom plenty of confidence in the Dudley-born tactician successfully tackling the task of securing promotion back to the Premier League having almost turned their season around.
Had his arrival come sooner, the Baggies may be closer to safety than they currently find themselves, with Allardyce clearly needing time to settle and establish his game plan that sees the likes of Pep Guardiola call him a “genius” (Sky Sports).
Keeping hold of a large percentage of the players currently in the West Midlands will also be key for Allardyce, having often stuck with the same core nucleus over recent weeks during West Brom’s upturn in form.