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McInnes eyed as successor to TM
Published : 10 Jun 2009 08:32:57
The Bhoys finally made their interest in Mowbray public earlier this week, lodging an official request to open talks with him about succeeding Gordon Strachan in the Parkhead hot-seat. Albion chairman Jeremy Peace admitted the approach was "not welcome", but revealed there is a £2million compensation clause in Mowbray's contract which suitors must pay to hold talks with him. The former Middlesbrough and Celtic defender has developed a reputation for producing free-flowing, attacking football during spells in charge of Hibernian and the Baggies - and is highly regarded by the Hoops hierarchy and fans having played for them from 1991 to 1995. The SPL giants, however, feel the £2million fee is too high, leading to a stand-off between the two clubs which may force Mowbray to resign if he wants to take charge in Glasgow. Peace is adamant he wants Mowbray to continue the fine work he has done at the club in the last three seasons - but last season's relegation from the Premier League could tempt the 45-year-old into accepting a new challenge. Former Albion midfielder McInnes appears to be the number one contender if Mowbray moves on, having caught the eye in steering St Johnstone into the Scottish Premier League in his first full season as a manager. Saints chairman Geoff Brown is desperate to hang onto the 37-year-old, who was a fans' favourite during his three-year spell at The Hawthorns, but knows Albion could offer McInnes a much bigger wage package. "We are expecting Derek to lead us into the Scottish Premier League," said Brown. "He has had a lot going for him, including the backing of his board. "Derek is still a rookie but I wouldn't want to mislead our supporters - every manager wants to better himself. "It's a crazy world out there. With so many jobs vacant at the moment there are agents pushing their men as candidates and flying kites. "And while we will do our best to hold onto Derek McInnes we have to be realistic. If someone comes in offering him the sort of money in a year that most people would happily retire on, he would go." McInnes, who has just 12 months remaining on his current Saints deal, told the Birmingham Mail: "I have a good relationship with the chairman and I'm sure I will be the first to know if there is interest from elsewhere. "But I'm concentrating on the job I have here."