Rotherham United are holding interviews this week in their bid to appoint a new manager as it emerged former England boss Steve McClaren had expressed his interest in the vacant hot-seat.
It is believed there has been contact, initiated by McClaren, between the two parties.
But the prospect of a deal would seem to be unlikely, even though bookmakers have shortened the odds on the one-time Manchester United coach taking over at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
A candidate more firmly in the frame is Gary Bowyer, and the ex-Blackburn Rovers boss is thought to be one of the men with whom the Championship Millers are planning to hold talks.
The 45-year-old ex-Rotherham player spent two and a half years in charge at Ewood Park until being relieved of his duties by the Championship side in November 2015.
He meets the criteria of Millers chairman Tony Stewart who has stated his desire to appoint someone with second-tier experience.
“We won’t take risks with someone untried at this level,” Stewart has said. “Our man will be quite conversant with the Championship.”
Rotherham are looking for a successor to Neil Warnock who left the club last week after guiding them to Championship safety in his short-term stay.
McClaren, who led the national team in 2006 and 2007, made enquiries after Warnock’s departure last Wednesday.
The 55-year-old lost his job as manager of Newcastle United in March and has previously been boss at Middlesbrough, Dutch club FC Twente, German outfit VfL Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest and Derby County.
Rotherham’s next manager has a tough act to follow as Warnock inspired an 11-match unbeaten run during his three-month reign to defy the odds and keep the Millers up.
An appointment is possible, but not guaranteed, by the weekend.
Former Sheffield Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray, now working for Fulham, was a leading contender in February before Warnock’s arrival, while Alan Stubbs, who has just won the Scottish Cup Final with Hibernian, and Southend United’s Phil Brown were under consideration for the role when it went to Neil Redfearn last October.
Reports suggesting Bradford City’s Phil Parkinson and ex-Sunderland boss Paulo Di Canio are in the running appear to be wide of the mark.
Dougie Freedman, out of work since leaving Nottingham Forest in March, is available and has plenty of managerial experience in the second tier.
Meanwhile, Rotherham have made offers to five out-of-contract players, Kirk Broadfoot, Richard Wood, Matt Derbyshire, Leon Best and Stephen Kelly, and talks are under way.