Brentford have finally made an official approach for Walsall manager Dean Smith according to various sources.
With rumours banding around for weeks that Smith was the man from del monte, it is no real surprise to Brentford fans that the Walsall manager’s name has finally been pulled from the hat.
Strong rumours emanating from the South Wales press over the last few weeks indicated that Brentford had been negotiating with the Swansea No 2 Pep Clotet to bring him to Griffin Park.
However, negotiations seem to have broken down and Brentford are now honing in on their next favoured target Smith.
Having taken over the helm in 2011 Smith, affectionately known as the ginger Mourinio in the black country, guided Walsall from relegation the year he took over and into 19th spot the season after. The following two seasons saw Walsall comfortably in mid-table – even mounting a battle for a playoff place for a good part of Brentford’s Division 1 promotion season (2013/14).
Last year he took Walsall to Wembley where they were defeated 2-0 by League 1 Champions Bristol City in the Football League Trophy.
Currently Walsall are 4th place in Division 1 – 3 points off the top spot.
Known as a down to earth manager who knows the football leagues inside out and with a good eye for a player – signing players like Romaine Sawyers, Milan Lalkovic and Ryan Wood’s ex-Shrewsbury team-mate top scorer Tom Bradshaw (who has scored 30 goals in 58 appearances) – Brentford are obviously looking for Smith to add his knowledge of the football leagues into the pot in their search for new players, something that was missing under Marinus Dijkhuizen.
Despite stating that he expected striker Will Grigg to go to a “bigger club” when Brentford signed him from Walsall in 2013, frustration must have set in having a constrained budget at Walsall with Smith setting his ambitions higher.
Word on the street has it this is not the first time Smith has been linked with the Brentford job – with him supposedly being in and around both the Uwe Rosler and Mark Warburton vacancies.
Needless to say, nothing is finalised until the paperwork is signed. But there’s no smoke without fire.
And, unless there is a tremendous U-turn over the next few days (don’t discount anything with Brentford), expect to see Smith in the manager’s hot-seat when Franchise FC aka MK Dons come to town.
Beesotted crew discussed the new manager appointment on this week’s Pride Of West London Podcast (below) which you can subscribe to on itunes by clicking here.