By George Overhill

16th May, 2022 | 8:40pm

West Brom target Joe Rothwell expected to speak to all clubs in chase before deciding future

Free agent former Blackburn Rovers midfielder is expected to speak to all four teams chasing him including West Brom, according to Alan Nixon.

Premier League-bound Bournemouth were reportedly the favourites to land the 27-year-old, according The Athletic’s Michael Walker, having had a deal in place to bring him to the south coast in January.

Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom is reportedly “keen” to secure the midfielder having had him at Barnsley previously, and the Blades are still in play to make it to the top flight themselves, currently trailing 2-1 after the first leg of their playoff tie with Nottingham Forest who are also interested in Rothwell.

Steve Bruce has directed his focus towards free transfer targets to strengthen his squad for next season, with funding at a premium.

And according to Nixon on Patreon he is set to get a chance to make a pitch to Rothwell, although the “prospect of Premier League football may swing his decision”.

Offer he can’t refuse

Albion are clearly at a disadvantage in this chase as the only one of the four with no chance at promotion, compared to the run on Rothwell’s former Blackburn teammate Darragh Lenihan where the competition will also be in the Championship next year.

The chance to play in the top flight and the increased financial rewards those clubs can offer is hard to overlook.

Fans expected the Baggies to be in exactly that position come the end of the season, but a nose-dive after a strong start left them outside the playoffs.

Bruce clearly wants to add some spark to his midfield, and Rothwell would be a very solid addition to the squad, but he may be looking at his last chance to make the jump to the Premier League.

Shaun McWilliams of Northampton Town is another potential arrival on a free, who would be far more attainable since a move to the Hawthorns would represent an attractive step up.

Expectations may need to be dampened slightly considering the options to strengthen are restricted, but there are diamonds all over the place in the lower leagues, it is just a matter of finding them.

The recruitment at Albion hasn’t been spectacular in recent seasons, but fans will have to hope that necessity pushes the club to make smarter decisions this summer.

In other West Brom news, one player who proved to be a bright spot this year won’t be at the club next year and a former Baggies player has reacted to the news.

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