Former Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael linked with Watford job currently held by ex-Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Former Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael has been linked with a return to the Championship.

Ismael has been out of work since parting ways with Turkish giants Besiktas last October and has not held a role in England since his departure from West Bromwich Albion in February 2022.

However, according to The Athletic, Ismael is a contender to replace Chris Wilder as Watford’s head coach. The outlet reported earlier this week that Wilder is expected to leave the Hornets after the final game of the season earlier and that the club have been “looking into options to succeed Wilder”.

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Ismael enjoyed a successful tenure during his time at Barnsley, guiding the Reds to the play-offs during the 2020/21 campaign. However, he swapped Oakwell for the Hawthorns in June 2021 and was followed to his new club by midfielder Alex Mowatt.

Barnsley struggled following his exit and were relegated to League One last year, but have enjoyed a resurgence under Michael Duff.