Chris Hughton favourite for Birmingham job

Birmingham have lined up six possible candidates to replace Alex McLeish as manager with former Newcastle boss Chris Hughton the current bookmakers favourite.

Ex-West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola and former West Brom head coach Roberto Di Matteo are also among the leading candidates under consideration.

But reports Birmingham had asked permission to speak to Portsmouth boss Steve Cotterill are believed to be wide of the mark.

City want to make an appointment as quickly as possible after McLeish resigned on Sunday after three and a half years in charge at St Andrew's.

Birmingham have to prepare for a Europa League campaign - if they come through the qualifying round in August - in addition to trying to gain promotion from the npower Championship at the first attempt.

Birmingham's acting chairman Peter Pannu said: "I am discussing the situation with (owner) Carson Yeung and we hope to install the new man as soon as possible.

"There are at least six (candidates) on the radar."

Hughton, who parted company with Newcastle in December, was the number one choice of Birmingham fans in a poll conducted by the Birmingham Mail newspaper.

But Di Matteo and Zola are also free agents after their spells at the Hawthorns and Upton Park respectively were brought to an end.

Blues are set to complete the signing of Morgaro Gomis from Dundee United on a free transfer despite McLeish's departure.

But the possible signing of PSV Eindhoven striker Danny Koevermans has been put on hold because of the managerial situation.

Pannu said: "Gomis is still coming in to Birmingham. Because of what's happened, Koevermans is having to think again."

Birmingham could be set to lose the services of last season's leading scorer Craig Gardner.

Gardner is a life-long Birmingham fan, but he is attracting interest from Sunderland who are managed by ex-Blues boss Steve Bruce.

The former Villa player netted 10 times last season despite missing a dozen games through injury and suspension, but could not save City from relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness