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Schaaf out of running for West Brom job

ESPN staff
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Thomas Schaaf spent almost 40 years at Werder Bremen © Getty Images
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Thomas Schaaf is no longer under consideration to take over the vacancy as West Bromwich Albion head coach as the former Werder Bremen manager looks set to remain in Germany.

The 52-year-old was believed to be close to striking an agreement with the Premier League club last night - but is now no longer in the running according to sources close to WBA.

It is still unclear as to the reasons for the swift removal of Schaaf from the list of possibles, but there is a growing feeling that a disagreement about Schaaf's coaching staff and the possibility of a job in the Bundesliga next season have conspired to see him removed from the process of appointing a successor to Steve Clarke.

Negotiations between Albion and Schaaf were at an advanced stage on Wednesday evening after two rounds of talks, but Schaaf is believed to want to work with his former Bremen assistants Wolfgang Roff and Matthias Honerbach, with Albion only willing to allow one assistant to join him to replace Kevin Keen, who left with Clarke almost a month ago.

Schaaf, who left Bremen by mutual consent at the end of last season, following a 14-year spell in charge of the club, is currently still under contract with the Bundesliga club and Albion also had to agree some financial compensation package with the Bundesliga club to release him from his contract.

Sources in Germany have told ESPN that Schaaf is being considered as a possible replacement for Schalke 04 coach Jens Keller, despite recent confirmation from the German club that their coach will continue in charge for the second half of the season.

Keller is under increasing pressure at Schalke after a disappointing first half of the season and Schaaf has been strongly linked with the post for the start of next season and it seems he would prefer to remain in Germany, where he has coached for his entire career.

Former Valencia, Benfica and Atletico Madrid manager Quique Flores remains under consideration following further meetings of the five-man selection panel, but Albion are likely to face a hefty compensation payment to lure him to England.

Flores boasts the most impressive CV of the known candidates, but is currently employed by Al Ain in Abu Dhabi, on a £2 million-a-year contract and Albion chairman Jeremy Peace is notoriously reluctant to pay fees for appointing a new coach.

Albion are still hopeful of resolving the situation in the next 48 hours, but caretaker head coach Keith Downing is almost certain to be in charge for the club's Premier League trip to face Southampton on Saturday.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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