Mel in running for Albion post

  • Last Updated: December 27 2013, 18:42 GMT

West Brom are reportedly in talks with former Real Betis coach Pepe Mel to become their new boss.

Pepe Mel: Reportedly in talks to become West Brom boss
Pepe Mel: Reportedly in talks to become West Brom boss

The 50-year-old Spaniard, who has had spells in charge of nine clubs since 1999, is the bookmakers' hot favourite for the post and one of three candidates in the running to succeed Steve Clarke, who was sacker earlier this month.

Despite reports to the contrary, Mel, who counts Getafe, Rayo Vallecano and Alaves among his previous employers, did not attend Albion's 1-1 draw with Tottenham on Boxing Day.

Caretaker boss Keith Downing, who took charge of the team at White Hart Lane for a second time having previously secured a point from a 1-1 home draw with Hull, is likely to again be in the hot seat for Saturday's clash against fellow strugglers West Ham.

After Thursday's match Downing insisted the delay in naming a successor to Clarke could be getting to the players but understood the board's decision not to be rushed into a quick appointment.

"There is a lot of speculation," he said. "The players have given me everything, but the uncertainty is in the back of their minds.

"The quicker they do it the better but having said that it has to be the right one.

"I have always said I would be there supporting as best I can until they make the correct one."

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