Next Barnsley Manager Odds: Who's in contention for Oakwell vacancy?
Barnsley are on the lookout for a new manager following Valerien Ismael’s departure to West Bromwich Albion.
The 45-year-old fired the South Yorkshire side to sixth place in the play-offs last term, just a season after they narrowly avoided relegation to League One.
Ismael has penned a four-year deal with the Baggies, who are among the favourites in the Championship winner betting next season.
Former Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has emerged as the early favourite to replace Ismeal at Oakwell, priced at 6/1 in the betting. The 53-year-old was in contention for the West Brom job a matter of weeks ago, with it looking a certainty he would take charge of the West Midlands club for the forthcoming campaign.
However, after talks between the two parties broke down, last season’s Premier League strugglers have taken a different route leaving Wilder in search of a new club.
The ex-Northampton Town boss endured a promising tenure in charge of Sheffield United, taking charge of the club when they were in League One back in 2016, before overseeing two promotions in three seasons as the Blades regained their Premier League status at the start of the 2019/20 campaign.
After an immensely promising season, where they flirted with the idea of a Europa League finish, the Bramall Lane outfit massively struggled last term and were subsequently relegated to the Championship after finishing rock-bottom in the top-flight. Wilder mutually agreed to depart the club in March and has been out of work since.
Another name in the frame is Eddie Howe, who is 8/1 second-favourite in the market. The former Bournemouth manager has been jobless since departing the Cherries last summer, but is frequently discussed as a potential candidate whenever a new managerial vacancy becomes available.
Howe looked set for the Celtic job last month but reportedly rejected the offer put on the table from the Parkhead side. He has also been mooted as the potential predecessor to Carlo Ancelotti at Everton, though it now looks unlikely that his services will be required in Merseyside as the Toffees eye up one of Rafa Benitez, Nuno Espirito Santo or Graham Potter.
Preston manager Alex Neil is also in contention (8/1). The former Norwich City manager took charge of North End back in 2017 following a two-year stint at Carrow Road, where he took the East Anglian side to the Premier League after winning the play-offs, only to be relegated the season after.
Neil has a proven pedigree in the Championship and knows what it takes to escape the division, so would be an attractive proposition for Barnsley, although it is somewhat difficult to envisage him leaving his position at Preston for another club in the Championship.