Brentford have declared their interest in making Walsall’s Dean Smith as their next manager according to Sky Sports. An official approach has been submitted, although it is understood the club still remain interested in Swansea City assistant manager Pep Clotet.
Smith has guided the Saddlers to fourth in the League One table so far this season, and it is looking likely that a promotion bid is firmly on the cards. His willingness to implement an attractive style of play is undoubtedly one of the many qualities that has attracted the Brentford hierarchy to make an approach.
Lee Carsley remains as the club’s head coach, although he has clearly signalled his intentions not to take over on a full-time basis beyond the end of this season. The former Everton midfielder will take charge of Monday’s trip to strugglers Bolton Wanderers, but it remains to be seen if that is his final game in charge.
44-year-old Smith has been at the helm at Bescot Stadium since January 2011, making him one of the longest serving managers in the Football League. He has overseen steady progresses during his time at the club, with this season looking likely to be one of his most successful to date. If he wants to prove himself at Championship level with Brentford, or finish the story with Walsall is clearly a big decision that needs to be made.
Earlier this season he won the August Manager of the Month award and is closing in on 300 matches in charge of Walsall. This remains his only job in management so far, but he has clearly impressed a number of chairmen and owners in recent times. It was believed that Rotherham United saw an approach rejected earlier this season, just after Steve Evans left the club.
In relation to Clotet, the Spaniard currently remains with Swansea, although it is believed he has been close to departing. South Wales Evening Post believed that Brentford did want Clotet to be appointed in time for the Bolton game. Potentially complications have led to them now looking elsewhere, but one thing is for sure, Clotet and Smith are clearly the preferred candidates for Brentford.