Pepe Mel unsure of West Brom futureby Jack Kitson / 08 May 2014, 10:56Tweet
West Brom have all but secured their Premier League safety for the fourth consecutive season, despite Wednesday's 2-0 defeat to relegation rivals Sunderland. The Baggies, who dropped down to 17th with three points still separating them from the relegation zone, are effectively safe as it would take; a final day loss at home to Stoke, a Norwich victory against Arsenal, and an unimaginable 17 goal swing, for them to join Fulham and Cardiff in the Championship next season.
However, despite keeping the Midland’s club in the top-flight Pepe Mel's future at the Hawthorns is in doubt. The Spaniard is currently four months into his 18-month contract at the club, however a release clause has fuelled reports that the 51-year-old may return to his homeland to take charge of La Liga side Malaga. Fans will now be nervously awaiting the results of showdown talks between Mel and chairman Jeremy Pearce which are set to take place at the end of the season.
Mel replaced the sacked Steve Clarke back in January and has since won just three, drawn six and lost eight of his 17 games in charge. The former Real Betis boss has achieved his main goal of preserving the club’s Premier League status and, while on paper the results may be below-par, he has transformed the Baggies into an attractive side who have taken points off the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham. Mel is believed to be keen to transform the club during the summer but if he doesn't get his way then he could depart.
If Mel does jump on a plane back to Spain then the Baggies will be forced to search for their third manager since late 2013. Chris Hughton is currently the 5/4 favourite (Bet Victor) in the Next West Brom Manager Market, while Tim Sherwood, Malky Mackay and Neil Lennon are also in the mix.