Former Preston defender Mark Lawrenson fears the club will have little chance of keeping Alan Irvine if West Brom step up their bid to lure the Deepdale boss to The Hawthorns.
Irvine has emerged as the leading candidate to succeed Tony Mowbray as Baggies boss following his impressive work with the Lilywhites.
"In my book, Alan Irvine is the best manager in the Championship and his work at Preston has not gone unnoticed in the football world," Lawrenson told the Lancashire Evening Post.
"Of course, every Preston fan will be hoping Alan stays, but if West Bromwich do come in then it is going to be extremely hard for PNE to hang on to him.
"Football is a hard-nosed business and WBA simply have more resources than Preston, they are in a stronger position financially. No Preston fan would want Alan Irvine to go, but it could be inevitable if West Bromwich make an official approach."
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