• Premier League

West Brom end Mel negotiations

ESPN staff
December 27, 2013
Mel was sacked by Betis after a poor start to the side's La Liga campaign and had flown over to London for talks with West Brom © Getty Images

West Bromich Albion will continue to search for a new permanent manager after ending negotiations with former Real Betis boss Pepe Mel, according to reports.

Mel was expected to be named as new boss at the Hawthorns following the club's decision to part with Steve Clarke earlier this month.

However, several British media outlets have reported that negotiations between both parties severely stumbled over backroom staff and the club will now look elsewhere for Clarke's successor. Albion are keen for the new manager to work with the existing coaching staff - including Kevin Downing and Dean Kiely - while Mel was said to have wanted his own team.

Malky Mackay, who was sacked by fellow Premier League side Cardiff City on Friday, is now favourite with the bookmakers to succeed Clarke.

West Brom released a statement confirming Downing will remain in charge of the first team for their upcoming fixture at West Ham.

"We have identified suitable candidates to work within our existing structure," sporting and technical director Richard Garlick said. "This is a confidential process and it is inevitable there will be speculation about whom may be under consideration.

"We are now progressing through the interview and short-listing stage. We plan to make an appointment at the earliest opportunity but our primary concern is recruiting the most suitable individual.

"We are grateful for the professional manner in which Keith Downing, the coaching staff and the players have approached the last two games. Keith remains in charge for [Saturday's] game at West Ham United and until an appointment has been made."

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