Stoke City have made Quique Sanchez Flores their preferred choice for the manager’s job – and are waiting for an answer from the Espanyol boss.
The Potters sacked Mark Hughes on Saturday, with the club in the Premier League relegation zone.
A Stoke delegation has met ex-Watford boss Flores, whose side go to Levante in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.
The 52-year-old is under contract with La Liga side Espanyol until 2019, but has a release clause in his deal.
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill is still in the running if Flores turns down the chance.
Derby County boss Gary Rowett was originally one of the bookmakers’ favourites to succeed Hughes, but he signed a new three-and-a-half-year deal with the Championship club on Tuesday.
Stoke had hoped to have their new manager in place for the Premier League game against Manchester United on 15 January – but it is thought Flores might not arrive by then.