Rotherham United are making approaches to two clubs asking for permission to talk to their managers as they look to name their new boss some time next week.
Interviews with four other candidates have been wrapped up, and the Championship Millers are now taking their search a step further.
Chairman Tony Stewart believes an announcement could be made on Wednesday, although that will depend on how the clubs in question react to Rotherham’s contact and how quickly any ensuing negotiations can be concluded.
“We’ll make the approaches and see what develops over the weekend,” Stewart confirmed.
“I think if we get permission to open talks, the rest would be plain sailing.
“There have been six possible candidates and the shortlist has been narrowed down to four.”
The Millers aren’t saying who their targets are, but Hibernian boss Alan Stubbs and Tony Mowbray, in charge of Coventry City, have seen their odds tumble in the betting market.
Mowbray has extensive managerial experience in the second tier with Middlesbrough and West Brom, while Stubbs has twice come close to take Hibs into the Scottish Premier League and last week won the Scottish Cup Final.
Former England and Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren and ex-Blackburn Rovers boss Gary Bowyer are among the men with whom talks have already been held.
“The applications were excellent in terms of numbers and quality,” Stewart added. “In fact, the quality of them has been superb.”
Stubbs, aged 44, is already well known to the Millers hierarchy, having made the final interviews last October before Neil Redfearn was appointed. He hasn’t managed in England before but had a long Premier League playing career with Bolton Wanderers, Everton and Sunderland.
Mowbray, 52, has impressed this season at the Ricoh Arena where he took Coventry close to a League One play-off place despite working on an extremely tight budget.