West Bromwich Albion are homing in on highly-rated Hibernian boss Tony Mowbray as their choice to become Bryan Robson's successor as manager.

Mowbray is understood to have had a second encounter with Albion chairman Jeremy Peace and his three-man interview panel. Sources north of the border are expecting an imminent announcement, having initially been put on standby to await official confirmation before this weekend.

The 42-year-old former Middlesbrough, Celtic and Ipswich Town defender has captured a lot of attention with the sound job he has done at Easter Road since he and his No 2 Mark Venus joined them in the summer of 2004.

Two successive top four finishes in the Scottish Premier League have alerted a host of clubs in England. And, although Mowbray and Venus have had to fend off speculation linking them with a host of managerless clubs throughout much of their two-and-a-half years with Hibs, the Albion job is the one that could finally tempt them south.

One surprise entrant into the race is 59-year-old veteran Joe Kinnear.

Albion's board haven't ruled him out either as he has impressed the interview panel, given his proven track record at Wimbledon in the 1990s and more recently at Luton Town.

Luton's current manager Mike Newell is also an outside bet to replace Robson, in the wake of Albion's approach to Coventry City for Micky Adams having been denied. But it appears that Steve Cotterill is not the racing certainty to land the job that bookmakers once thought.

It is now 18 days since the Albion board panicked themselves into the surprise sacking of Robson, during which time, once early frontrunner Alan Curbishley had seen his name removed from the frame, Burnley's Cotterill was touted as the bookies' favourite.

The abrasive Cotterill has had his support to land the Albion job in certain sections of the media. But, despite having led his Burnley team to third in the table - four places above Albion - he does not have a reputation for being the easiest to work with. And, given the way he walked out on Stoke City and his subsequent failure as Howard Wilkinson's No 2 at Sunderland, both still count as blots on his copybook.

That has all helped the straight-talking Mowbray emerge as the Baggies' No 1 choice. And it could now just be a question of coming to an agreement over financial matters - chiefly, how much it might cost Albion to prise Mowbray and Venus away.

Where this appointment will leave current interim manager Nigel Pearson is unclear.

Whether it is Mowbray, who preceded him by two years as Boro's centre half in the 1990s, or either Kinnear or Newell, whoever gets the job would want to bring their own back-room staff to The Hawthorns.