Doncaster Rovers are closing in on their new manager and hope to unveil him early next week.
However, the identity of Brian Flynn’s successor remains the subject of intense speculation following the onset of the club’s interviewing process this week.
According to Star sources, Paul Dickov had been in pole position to be offered the job after impressing John Ryan when Rovers met Oldham three times in quick succession over the winter.
But Dickov may now have serious competition for the vacancy - and the betting patterns suggest his main rival is former Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn boss Michael Appleton.
Appleton is understood to be keen on making a swift return to management despite a whirlwind last 12 months which saw him lead three different clubs last season.
The former Preston midfielder was sacked by Blackburn Rovers in March after taking charge of just 15 games.
He left Blackpool to join Rovers in January after just 65 days in charge at Bloomfield Road.
Appleton had previously won several plaudits for the way he managed crisis club Portsmouth through their period of administration.
The 37-year-old earned a reputation at West Bromwich Albion as a highly promising coach.
He recently accepted an invitation from Roy Hodgson, his former mentor at the Hawthorns, to observe England’s training ahead of their forthcoming friendly with Republic of Ireland.