Albion could ask Frédéric Hantz to secure a third promotion to the top flight after holding talks with the highly-regarded French boss.

The former Le Mans, Le Havre and Bastia head coach is a candidate to replace Oscar Garcia in charge at the Seagulls.

According to Argus sources in France, the 48-year-old has met club bosses for a second time after impressing at an initial interview.

Hantz now appears to be firmly in the running with former Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia to take over at the Amex although chairman Tony Bloom continues to give nothing away as he prepares for his third managerial appointment.

Both Hantz and Hyypia have been backed heavily in the betting markets over the last 48 hours.

Hantz is a frontrunner for the vacant job at top-flight outfit Reims but would be intrigued by a first professional venture outside France.

It is understood he was flattered by Albion’s knowledge of his achievements in France and hugely impressed by the depth of their scouting across Europe for a new boss.

Hantz has taken Le Mans and Bastia to the top division on tight budgets.

He is known as an intelligent, innovative coach and already speaks passable English.

He took third-division Bastia to back-to-back promotions and has kept them comfortably in Ligue 1 for the last two seasons, earning hero status with their notoriously temperamental fans in the process.

However he decided against signing a new contract recently after a disagreement with the club president over the composition of his coaching team.

Hantz was initially expected to take a year's break but has recently been in talks with Reims, who finished one place below Bastia last term.

Football League clubs gather on the Algarve for their two-day annual meeting today, which could delay any decision by Albion.