Gianfranco Zola could be offered the Queens Park Rangers manager's job should Harry Redknapp decide to leave at the end of the season.
QPR suffered their fourth defeat in six games at Brighton on Tuesday and currently sit nine points outside the automatic relegation places in the Championship.
The west London club made enormous losses of £65.4m last season which could see them facing a hefty fine or transfer embargo and therefore cuts to their 30-man squad.
Redknapp will have one more year left on his contract when this season ends but some feel he may call it quits at Loftus Road should QPR fail to gain promotion and are forced to cut their wage bill.
There are also reports that a knee problem may force the 67-year-old to review whether or not he wants to continue in management.
Equally, should QPR miss out on promotion, it seems unlikely that the club would stick with Redknapp beyond the end of the season.
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes is known to be a big fan of Zola, having offered to work alongside him when attempting to buy West Ham several years ago.
The Italian manager's passing style of football and ability to work with the squad he is given, as demonstrated in spells at West Ham and Watford, are thought to also endear him to Fernandes.
Redknapp has admitted he will discuss his future with the club's owners in the summer.
“Judge it at the end of the season and if we don’t go up, it is up to the people who own the club to make a decision what they want to do,” Redknapp said. “Why should I stand down? It is up to them. I would talk to the owners and discuss it with them, and see where we go.”Reuse content