Ross County want Owen Coyle to be their new manager and he could be in the dugout in time for Saturday’s Premiership encounter at Kilmarnock.
County chairman Roy MacGregor has identified Coyle as the man he wants to replace Jim McIntyre, who was sacked on Sunday, and has started talks with the former Bolton, Burnley and Blackburn Rovers manager.
Coyle, who also managed in the United States at Houston Dynamo, has been out of the game since being sacked by Blackburn in February and is keen on a return to Scotland.
The Press and Journal understands an agreement is close between County and Coyle, who wants to bring his long-time assistant Sandy Stewart with him to Victoria Park in what will be his first job in Scotland in 10 years.
The former Falkirk co-manager, who was famous for dining on fish and chips and a can of IRN-BRU every Friday prior to playing on a Saturday, last worked in Scotland in 2007 with St Johnstone before being lured to England by Bolton Wanderers a week before the Challenge Cup final.
The former Republic of Ireland international forward’s stock rose dramatically in England after leading Burnley to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history thanks to 1-0 play-off final victory against Sheffield United at Wembley in 2009.
He was linked with a return to Scotland that summer with champions Celtic but opted to stay at Turf Moor where he signed a new deal.
Burnley beat Premier League champions Manchester United at Turf Moor in their first top-flight home match for 33 years and in January, 2010 Coyle’s former club from his playing days, Bolton Wanderers, came calling for his services and Coyle expressed a desire to leave Burnley for their rivals.
Coyle went on to keep Wanderers up while his former club Burnley was relegated.
However, in May 2012 Bolton was relegated on the final day of the season to the Championship and with the team struggling in the Championship Coyle was sacked in October 2012.
Coyle returned to the game with Wigan as Roberto Martinez’s successor in June 2013 but was sacked by December with the club 14th in the Championship.
He moved to the US to take charge of Houston Dynamo in December 2013 on a three-year deal but departed the club in May, 2016 after expressing a desire to be closer to his family who had stayed in Britain.
Coyle was appointed manager of Championship club Blackburn in June 2016 but left in February after 37 games in charge.
He applied for the Hearts job following Ian Cathro’s sacking in the summer and has also been linked with a return to Falkirk following Peter Houston’s dismissal on Sunday, but County chairman MacGregor is confident he can conclude a deal to bring Coyle to Dingwall.
County are 10th in the Premiership with four points from their opening seven games and since winning at Dundee on the opening day of the campaign, have lost five or their last six matches in the division.