Cobblers boss Chris Wilder is being strongly linked with the top job at Sheffield United following the news that the Blades have sacked manager Nigel Adkins.
Wilder held talks earlier this week about a possible switch to Charlton Athletic, with the south London club making an official approach to the Cobblers on Monday.
The Town boss, along with assistant Alan Knill, was believed to be close to agreeing a deal to take over at the Addicks, but on Wednesday the deal fell through.
The Cobblers immediately issued a statement saying they believed another club was also showing an interest in appointing Wilder as their manager, and today (Thurs) Sheffield United have confirmed they have parted company with Adkins, adding they ‘hope to make an appointment very shortly’.
Wilder is from Sheffield, still lives in Sheffield, is a former Sheffied United player, and is also a lifelong fan of the Bramall Lane club.
Press reports from south Yorkshire are saying that Wilder is the ‘preferred choice’ of Blades co-owners co-owners HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Abdulaziz Al Saud and Kevin McCabe.
Adkins has paid the price for an underwhelming season for the south Yorkshire club, with the Blades finishing 11th.
They were pre-season favourites for automatic promotion, and are now preparing for their sixth season in a row in the third tier of English football.
A statement on the Sheffield United website read: “A decision has been made by the board of Sheffield United for Nigel to depart immediately.
“Nigel is a gentleman and, as proved by his record, a very good manager, but the overriding aim is promotion from League One and the Club feels that this is the correct time to make a change.
“We will now begin the process of bringing in a new manager.
“We hope to make an appointment very shortly, with promotion from this division once again the priority.
“This is a decision made jointly between the co-owners and is the result of discussions between board members and colleagues.
“We sincerely wish Nigel and his backroom staff, Andy Crosby and Dean Wilkins all the best for the future.”
Town boss Wilder and assistant Knill are one-year rolling contracts at Sixfields, but have release clauses.
The clauses were triggered by Charlton earlier this week, and Town chairman Kelvin Thomas had agreed a compensation package with the south London club.
Wilder is undertandably in demand after guiding the Cobblers to the Sky Bet League Two title, finishing 13 points clear of second-placed Oxford United.
Chairman Thomas has already stated that, whatever Wilder’s decision will be on his future, he wants things concluded quickly.