Roy Keane is set for a return to management with his old club Nottingham Forest – if he can see off a challenge from European Cup winner Roberto Di Matteo.
The former Irish captain was at the City Ground on St Stephen’s Day as Forest thumped Leeds 4-2.
Despite that win manager Sean O’Driscoll was sacked just hours later.
Bookmakers immediately installed Keane as the favourite to manage the club who gave him his break in English football.
But newspaper reports on Thursday morning linked former Chelsea boss Di Matteo with the post.
Keane has also been linked with the vacancy at Blackburn Rovers who sacked boss Henning Berg on Thursday.
But a return to his old club would interest the Corkman, first linked with the job last summer.
Forest chairman Abdulaziz Al Hasawi said: “We are looking to bring in an ambitious manager with Premier League experience.
“The timing of our decision may look a little odd after the win over Leeds but sometimes you need to make changes with the long term future in mind.
“Sometimes those changes need to be made from a position of strength rather than weakness and that is what we are trying to do.”
The Irish Sun reports that Owen Coyle and Mark Hughes — sacked by Chelsea, Bolton and QPR respectively in the last two months — have also been mentioned as contenders for the Forest job.