Whelan considers return of Jewell

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The Independent Football

The prospect of Paul Jewell managing Wigan Athletic again is not as far-fetched as it seemed when the club's chairman, Dave Whelan, sacked Chris Hutchings on Monday.

No formal offer has been put to Jewell but Whelan may offer the man with whom he parted company six months ago the finance and tenure necessary to lure him back to a club he served for six years.

Last month Jewell made it clear he did not want to take over at Bolton, because it would not represent a step beyond his role at Wigan. Yesterday, though, he replaced Graeme Souness as the bookmakers' favourite for the Wigan job. In his column for Metro he wrote: "I am in Dubai playing golf so I was surprised to learn I have been offered my old job back at Wigan. Let me make it quite clear – I have had no contact with Dave Whelan these past few days, or anyone at the club for that matter. But, after six months away, I am ready and willing to return to work. Any offers I will consider and I firmly believe I will return to football refreshed and a better manager.

"A lot of rubbish was written when I left Wigan in May. Some people said I had cracked up following the pressure of our relegation battle. What a load of garbage. I just felt after six years of working in this job I needed a break, as it consumes you 24-7."

Jewell's options include the vacant Republic of Ireland post, but he is believed to favour a return to club management.