Cardiff given permission to begin Malky Mackay talks
Watford have given manager Malky Mackay permission to speak to npower Championship rivals Cardiff.
The Bluebirds want Mackay to replace Dave Jones, who was sacked last month following their play-off semi-final defeat by Reading.
An official approach was turned down by Watford yesterday but following discussions at boardroom level, chairman Graham Taylor said: "We have reluctantly agreed to allow Malky to speak to Cardiff."
City made their move after former England striker Alan Shearer revealed he had held "unsuccessful" talks with the club earlier this week.
Ex-Celtic, Norwich and West Ham defender Mackay, 39, has been in charge at Vicarage Road for two seasons.
Watford were among the favourites to be relegated both years but Mackay guided them to 16th and 14th-placed finishes despite operating on a shoestring budget and regularly seeing his best players sold.
This summer he has already lost top scorer Danny Graham to Swansea while fellow striker Will Buckley was sold to Brighton.
Chief executive Julian Winter also left last week leaving new owner Laurence Bassini to run the club.
Bassini insisted yesterday the club would do "everything in our power" to keep hold of Mackay, but the Scot has now asked permission to open talks with Cardiff.
Taylor added: "The owner spoke with the board members and following Malky's request to speak to Cardiff, we have granted him permission."
Mackay only signed a new three-year contract in March so Cardiff would have to come up with a compensation package if they can lure him away.
A statement from the Bluebirds read: "Cardiff can confirm talks are under way with Malky Mackay to become our new manager.
"The talks began after permission was granted by Watford following our approach."
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: The best memes as the internet reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Sami Khedira to Arsenal? Arsene Wenger reveals the Gunners are still in the market for defensive midfielder
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Risky business to think Balotelli can replace Suarez
Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
AEL Limassol vs Tottenham match report: Erik Lamela shrugs off last season’s woes to set up Spurs fightback
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians