Birmingham City face a losing battle in their bid to keep manager Chris Hughton away from West Bromwich Albion.

The Daily Mail says Birmingham are unlikely to make life easy for West Brom and have the option of refusing them permission to speak to Hughton, who is operating on a one-year rolling contract.

But their hand is likely to be weakened by the uncertain financial situation at the club.

Birmingham are currently operating under a transfer embargo after failing to produce their annual accounts. The club's owner, Carson Yeung, is also awaiting trial in Hong Kong on money laundering charges.

In contrast, Albion run a sound financial ship and Hughton would inherit a squad which finished 10th in the Barclays Premier League last season.