Roy Keane has emerged as the early frontrunner to replace Alex McLeish as manager of Nottingham Forest following the Scot’s shock departure after just over a month at the helm.
Keane, who made his name with Forest before being snapped up by Manchester United, is the 11/4 favourite to land the job, though backing Nigel Adkins holds a greater chance of reaping rewards.
The recently-dismissed Southampton supremo is available to back at 3/1 and after securing successive Saints promotions before being sacked in grossly unjust circumstances last month, his credentials far outweigh those Keane can boast. It is also thought Adkins is keen on an immediate return to management which lends favour his price.
Another potentially interesting punt is Paolo Di Canio, currently in charge of Swindon.
The fiery Italian has guided the Robins into League One promotion contention from being a bog-standard League Two outfit when he took over and recently voiced his discontent at one of his star men being sold against his wishes. With the club, like so many others, in financial peril they would be keen to listen to megabucks Forest’s compensation offering, while it doesn’t appear that Di Canio would be adverse to jumping ship. He can be backed at 10/1 to assume control at the City Ground.
However, if issues regarding total control have led him to consider his Swindon future, then jumping into bed with Nottingham Forest’s Kuwaiti owners probably wouldn’t be a sensible course of action.
McLeish’s departure was based around a disagreement over January transfer dealings. The club’s hierarchy pulled the plug on George Boyd’s all-but-completed deal at the last minute on the grounds of his lacking twenty/twenty vision, something that their now former manager took umbrage with.
The Al Hasawi’s comical decision to terminate the contract of Brian O’Driscoll on the back of a 4-2 win over Leeds that saw the club rise to within a point of the play-off zone also suggests that a manager who can resist the temptation to rock the boat might be who the Forest owners seek to replace McLeish.
This train of thought leads to the likes of former assistant Rob Kelly (10/1), MK Dons coach Karl Robinson (12/1) and, out of left field, Gareth Southgate (20/1).
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date