Peter Taylor, who left Leicester on course for relegation from the Premiership and Brighton as Second Division champions, heads the shortlist for the Stoke City manager's job following the sacking of Gudjon Thordarson just four days after he led them to promotion.
Taylor's success on a shoestring with lower-division teams – he also took Gillingham up – has attracted the Potteries club. Stoke reached the First Division via the play-off final last Saturday but are heavily in debt.
Among others Stoke may consider are two ex-players with the club, Steve Bould and Adrian Heath, currently coaching with Arsenal and Sunderland respectively, but keen to work together; John Rudge, the club's director of football and former manager of neighbouring Port Vale; and Steve Cotterill, who enjoyed play-off success with Cheltenham. An appointment is expected by Monday.
Thordarson's two-and-a-half-year reign ended when the chairman, Gunnar Gislason, phoned him 24 hours after Monday's victory parade. He claimed yesterday that his contract was not being renewed next month because the board alleged he would not work within their fin-ancial restraints. "That's just an excuse," he said. "They've never put any budget plan to me."
Thordarson claimed that the decision to dispense with him was not unanimous.