Earlier today, Simon Jones, writing for the Mail Online, said that West Brom had decided that Preston boss Alex Neil was their preferred choice as the new boss at the Hawthorns.
In his article Jones said that the Baggies “will make an approach” for Lilywhites boss Neil, and indeed had intended to make that approach after Saturday’s game at Deepdale.
West Brom had the opportunity to see Neil up close and personal yesterday, the Midlanders cruising to a 4-1 victory against Neil’s Preston North End side at the Hawthorns.
It was an emphatic win achieved by a hat-trick from Dwight Gayle (27′, 31′ and 71′) and a single goal from Jay Rodriguez (44′) with the Lilywhites replying through a late Josh Ginnelly (90+1′).
West Brom are thought to be looking to get Neil in place ahead of the play-offs, by doing this they are hoping to enter the final push for promotion in good shape and form.
The expectation was that West Brom would have to pay Preston a compensation fee to land their man – this mooted to be in the region of £750,000.
That was earlier today, things have moved on since then and the landscape has changed some. This changing landscape has come about with news that Neil has signed an extended deal at Deepdale.
In news released by the Lancashire-based club, Neil has agreed to a new three-year deal that will keep him at Deepdale until at least the summer of 2022. Whilst that may not be a nail in the coffin of West Brom’s hopes of landing Neil, his words on the deal may be.
In commenting on the new deal he signed, Alex Neil had the following to say: “It has been a difficult few days working in a situation where the club and I had no control over what has been said, but I am absolutely delighted to be able to commit my future to the club and to continue with the project we have been working on.”
Phrases such as “to continue with the project we have been working on” could very well be the knelling of the bell for West Brom’s hopes of landing the Preston man. With Neil signing an extended deal, maybe West Brom will have to cast their eyes a little further afield.