Sheffield United: Last interviews in Blades boss hunt

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Sheffield United will today hold a final round of interviews for the managerial vacancy at Bramall Lane before unveiling Nigel Clough’s successor within 48 hours.

Bradford City chief Phil Parkinson and Nigel Adkins, previously of Southampton and Reading, are thought to be the leading contenders for the role following a summit meeting between the League One club’s hierarchy last weekend.

United made an official approach for Parkinson less than 48 hours after parting company with Clough on Monday morning while The Star understands that Adkins remains keen on the role despite reports to the contrary.

Kevin McCabe and representatives working on behalf of fellow co-owner HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Abdulaziz Al Saud are scheduled to reconvene at a secret location this morning to apply the finishing touches to a process which began when Clough was dismissed a week ago.

MK Dons’ Karl Robinson and Mark Warburton, who is now a free agent after leading Brentford, were both initially viewed as candidates. But, according to sources within the game, Parkinson and Adkins now head United’s wanted list.

Having received over 50 applications for the post, including several within the past 72 hours, it remains unclear whether or not the search will be widened before an appointment is made.

Adkins, aged 50, won promotions with both Southampton and Scunthorpe before leaving Reading in December.

Parkinson, three years his junior, led Colchester into the Championship nine seasons ago before leading City to League Two play-off success soon after reaching the 2013 Capital One Cup Final.

Although City’s board of directors, including co-chairmen Julian Rhodes and Mark Lawn, refused Parkinson permission to hold talks with their Yorkshire rivals last week, United are likely to activate a get-out clause in his contract should they decide he is best equipped to replace Clough who was axed soon after their defeat in the play-off semi-finals earlier this month.