Sheffield United are confident their search for a new manager is drawing to a close – and could name Chris Wilder’s successor by the end of the week.
The Blades look set to finally name Wilder’s replacement after holding their second round of talks in 48 hours with one of the candidates.
Slavisa Jokanovic remains the favourite to take the job, with the Bramall Lane hierarchy moving quickly amid reports that West Brom were keen on recruiting him as Sam Allardyce’s replacement.
Both United and West Brom were relegated from the Premier League this season, along with Jokanovic’s old club Fulham, and all three clubs will be aiming to bounce back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
West Brom, ironically, may now look to Wilder to take charge at the Hawthorns.
Jokanovic, who guided both Fulham and Watford to promotion from the Championship, was approached about the possibility of moving to Sheffield at the beginning of the month. The Serb is set to leave Qatari club Al-Gharafa when his contract expires shortly.
The Blades have also identified Philippe Clement of Club Brugge as a possible alternative should Jokanovic prove unobtainable, having previously considered KV Oostende’s Alexander Blessin until work permit issues became a problem.
Caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom was also considered by the Bramall Lane chiefs, but now seems likely to step back to the Under-23s.
Jokanovic is now 1/3 on to be in charge for the first game of the new season.
Sky Bet odds: Jokanovic 1/3; Heckingbottom 7/1; Blessin 8/1; Clement 10/1; Howe 18/1; Appleton 18/1