David Wagner appears poised to become West Bromwich Albion’s next manager.
Ex-Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder and Lincoln City chief Michael Appleton were both high in the betting market.
But it has now transpired that Lai has decided to opt for Wagner, having had reservations about the other two candidates. He is said to have been put off by the way in which Wilder departed United earlier this year.
Wilder, who dragged his boyhood club from mid-table in League One to a top-ten finish in the Premier League, was considered the number one target.
But Lai was said to be put off by the strained relations he had with the Blades’ ownership – something that ultimately led to his exit.
As for Appleton, Birmingham Live reports that Lai was not willing to pay compensation to Lincoln.
Wagner, without a club since departing German side Schalke last September, is now the clear front-runner. It would mark a return to England for the 49-year-old, whose exploits with Huddersfield won him plenty of fans.
Wagner led the Terriers to a shock promotion in 2017 and followed that up with Premier League survival.
Their second season in the top flight was not as memorable though, as they finished rock-bottom on 16 points.
He departed midway through that season, in January 2019, but remains a hugely popular figure in West Yorkshire.
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