Football in Brief: Baggies close in on Hughton; Cup win seals Brum's rise

Baggies close in on Hughton

West Bromwich Albion are set to step up their attempts to make Birmingham's Chris Hughton their new manager. They will ask Blues for permission to speak to Hughton in the next 24 hours.

Albion have held talks with the former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri and ex-Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder Ray Wilkins as they seek a replacement for the new England manager, Roy Hodgson. But it is understood Hughton is the preferred choice of the club's chairman, Jeremy Peace. He has remained the overwhelming favourite with bookmakers.

Birmingham have the option of refusing their local rivals permission to speak to Hughton, who is on a one-year rolling contract. But their hand is likely to be weakened by their uncertain financial situation: they are operating under a transfer embargo after failing to produce their annual accounts.

Women's FA Cup win seals Brum's rise

The Birmingham chairman, Steve Shipway hailed the remarkable rise of his club after a dramatic Women's FA Cup final penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea on Saturday. The most prized piece of silverware in the domestic women's game is the first major trophy lifted by the club since its foundation in 1968.

Shipway said: "It's a fantastic day for us. When I came into the club 12 years ago we were in the ninth tier of the women's game. So this is the culmination of lots of hard, dedicated work by everyone concerned."

Equalisers by Rachel Williams and Karen Carney earned Birmingham their shoot-out chance after a 2-2 draw.

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