Blades set to name new manager within 48 hours

Nigel Adkins: Keen on the Blades job
Nigel Adkins: Keen on the Blades job
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Sheffield United hope to unveil their new manager within 48 hours.

Members of the Football League are scheduled to hold their annual general meeting in Portugal later this week and, barring an unforeseen chain of events, Bramall Lane’s delegation expects to confirm Nigel Clough’s successor before making the journey to Europe.

Bradford City’s Phil Parkinson and Nigel Adkins are the leading contenders to fill a vacancy created when Clough was relieved of his duties seven days ago.

However, a late flurry of applications for the role, combined with United’s determination to make the correct appointment ahead of the 2015/16 campaign, has delayed the selection process.

Adkins is thought to have met representatives acting on behalf of co-owners HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Abdulaziz Al Saud and Kevin McCabe following Clough’s departure. Despite reports to the contrary, stemming from his admission that he would relish the opportunity to again work at top-flight level, the former Southampton and Reading chief remains keen on taking charge. Like Adkins, who twice led Scunthorpe out of the third tier. Parkinson boasts a wealth of experience at League One level having reached the Championship with Colchester before his memorable spell at Valley Parade.

City, who won the League Two play-offs under the 47-year-old’s tutelage in 2013, defeated Arsenal and Aston Villa en route to the Capital One Cup final earlier that term.

Adkins is a free agent and, as such, would be a clean, quick appointment. City refused United permission to hold talks with Parkinson 48 hours after Clough’s dismissal was confirmed but their continued interest suggests they are prepared to trigger a get-out clause contained within his contract.

Officials at Valley Parade have refused to state how much it would cost to terminate the remaining 12 months of Parkinson’s present deal.