An appeal against the Premier League’s decision to block the Macedonian’s move from the Hawthorns was deemed unsuccessful yesterday.
And while the Whites have the option of taking their legal fight further with the footballing authorities, it is understood Dougie Freedman is now keen to switch targets in an effort to bring someone in before this weekend’s game at Millwall.
Popov is currently on loan for the season at West Brom from Dynamo Kiev and would have been allowed out had the deal occurred in the transfer window.
But because it is happening in the loan window the Premier League have deemed it an international transfer – even though it is effectively being conducted between two domestic clubs.
It has proved another frustrating chapter in Freedman’s exhaustive search for a left-back, which stretches back to the moment Kevin McNaughton returned to Cardiff City on Boxing Day.
Tim Ream has since filled in with Alex Baptiste shifting over to the right, but while the American has worked hard, he has been targeted by opposition sides as he is clearly playing out of position.
To make matters worse, Wanderers will be coming up against Liam Feeney this weekend – the right-sided winger who proved such a hit in his short loan spell at the Reebok earlier this season.