Blackburn are aiming to have a new manager in place within 10 days, chairman John Williams announced today.
Williams revealed the club have had a massive response following the departure of Mark Hughes to Manchester City.
The process of sifting through the candidates began in earnest today at a meeting of the Blackburn directors.
Williams told Sky Sports News: "There are over 40 names on the list.
"It is a good list, a healthy list with lots of interesting applicants.
"We will start work today and see where we go. I hope we would have something within a week to 10 days."
Williams, however, refused to be drawn on whether former striker Alan Shearer was a contender for the role.
Shearer helped Blackburn win the Premier League title in 1995 and would appear to be the supporters' choice.
He scored 130 goals in 171 appearances before joining his beloved Newcastle a year later for £15million.
Shearer has repeatedly been questioned about his management ambitions, and while he has admitted he wants to return to football one day, he has remained non-committal about the timing.
He still has two years to run on his contract with the BBC and is part of their team covering Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.
However, after initially distancing himself from the Blackburn job, he is now reported to be keen to talk to the club.
Steve McClaren, Sam Allardyce and Paul Ince have also been linked with the role at Blackburn, who finished seventh in the table last season.