Phillips among seven senior players to exit Baggies

Winger Matt Phillips is departing West Bromwich Albion after eight years.

Adam Reach, Nathaniel Chalobah, Erik Pieters, Yann M’Vila, Martin Kelly and Jovan Malcolm will also be leaving the club.

New contracts have been offered to defenders Cedric Kipre and Kyle Bartley as well as midfielder Alex Mowatt.

Phillips was signed by then boss Tony Pulis from QPR in July 2016 and the 33-year-old scored 31 goals in his 255 appearances for the club in all competitions.

He played an influential part in the club's promotion to the Premier League in 2020 but has made less of an impact under head coach Carlos Corberan, last scoring against Hull City in November.

Midfielder Chalobah was a January transfer window signing on an 18-month deal from Fulham in 2023, while winger Reach signed in 2021 from Sheffield Wednesday and scored twice in 78 appearances.

Defender Pieters contributed to 24 clean sheets in his 61 appearances, starting in 19 games last season.

Midfielder M’Vila, a free transfer signing in February, made nine appearances.

West Brom remain in a tricky financial situation, despite finalising a takeover in February, but they have been successful under Corberan, making the play-off semi-finals to achieve their best finish to a season since earning promotion to the top flight in 2020.

However, Corberan will be keen to pick up fresh blood for next season's Championship campaign after a two-leg defeat by Southampton.

'First chance to really mould a squad'

Analysis: Steve Hermon, West Bromwich Albion commentator for BBC Radio WM

I don’t think there are any major surprises from the released list. One of the main objectives is to get the wage bill down over the next year and it’s also an ageing group.

Phillips certainly leaves with the best wishes of the club and the fans but having been hampered by injuries, it’s the right time to part ways.

Reach and Pieters were regularly singled out by Corberan for their commitment to the cause, but he clearly feels he can move on without them.

The trio being offered new contracts were a vital part of the push towards a play-off place, with Kipre and Bartley being a solid duo in the centre of defence and Mowatt pulling the strings in midfield.

With the objective of getting the wage bill down it will be interesting to know what terms the Baggies have offered to tempt them to remain. Kipre will have no shortage of offers, so fans will now wait nervously to see if they extend their stays.

They’ll also be hoping the Baggies can do a deal with Celtic for Mikey Johnston after the popular winger returns to Scotland following a successful loan since January.

It will be an interesting summer as Corberan gets his first real opportunity to mould a squad since he arrived in October 2022. He has worked miracles with no money up to this point and improved players who were deemed surplus to requirements by previous managers.

With even a little bit of backing from new owner Shilen Patel, there’s hope though that he can mount another promotion push with some new additions at The Hawthorns.

Albion employee suspended

Separately, Albion have confirmed that an employee has been suspended "pending an independent investigation into allegations of discriminatory behaviour".

A club statement said: "The club adopts a zero-tolerance approach to any discriminatory behaviour and is committed to upholding the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion.

"The suspension, which is in accordance with the club's policies, is not an indication of guilt. Consequently, the employee has a right to privacy throughout this process.

"The club will make no further comment until the conclusion of the independent investigation, which will be conducted by a leading UK law firm."