Hurst is No.1 target – but Town have other options in play
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Ipswich Town’s top managerial target is Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst, but there are other options still in play. STUART WATSON and ANDY WARREN report.
Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer hung up his boots in February 2017 and immediately began working on his coaching badges. The 39-year-old has been assisting Jody Morris at Chelsea’s Under-18s, who won an unprecedented quadruple this year.
It’s understood he’s twice been interviewed by Marcus Evans and impressed. Harry Redknapp, who is Lampard’s uncle, is a long-term adviser to Town’s owner.
Lampard is currently the odds-on favourite for the vacant Derby County job though, with reports suggesting he is interested in going to the Rams.
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The former Charlton, Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham, Tottenham and Fulham all-action midfielder – who was capped 18 times by England – is among the handful of people who have been interviewed by Evans. He was recommended to the Blues by trusted adviser and former Spurs boss David Pleat.
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The 37-year-old has just finished his first full season in charge of Tottenham’s Under-18s, a team who finished fourth in the Premier League South and reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Youth League.
Built a good coaching reputation at Tottenham – assisting Harry Redknapp, operating as technical director and overseeing the Under-21s before eventually getting the top job. Was sacked after a sixth-place finish.
The 48-year-old moved on to Aston Villa, who he led to the FA Cup Final before being sacked five months later. His last role in the game was as director of football at Swindon when they were relegated to League Two in 16/17.
Understood to have been recommended to Evans by several people and was one of the first to be interviewed.
It is remarkable how quickly Stam’s stock fell after his Reading side lost the 16/17 Championship play-off final on penalties to Huddersfield, having finished third in the table.
He was fired in March, with the Royals sitting 20th, but his possession-based style proved hugely effective in his only full campaign with the Berkshire side. He couldn’t repeat the trick, though, with a lack of tactical flexibility and poor recruitment contributing to his downfall.
The former Manchester United defender was linked with the Ipswich job early in the process and was said to be in line for an interview.
The Dutchman, 44, has masterminded an underdog success story at VVV Venlo in his homeland. First he guided them to a swashbuckling second-tier title on a shoestring budget, followed by this season’s against-the-odds survival with virtually the same set of players.
He has been linked to Ipswich for more than a year now and came out on top in our online poll which asked Blues fans who they wanted as the next boss back in April, gaining 30% of five-and-a-half thousand votes.
Has said he is ‘ready for a new adventure’, been linked to Eredivisie clubs Utrecht, Vitesse and Heerenveen, but recently admitted he could end up staying at his current employers. It’s understood that Town have made enquiries via a third party.
The 37-year-old already has four promotions on his CV – two with Salisbury City (Southern League Premier Division and Conference South) and two with Bristol Rovers (Conference Premier and League Two) – with a win ratio of 48% from 374 games in management.
Rovers have finished 10th and 13th in the second-tier in the last two seasons, despite having to sell star strikers Matty Taylor and Billy Bodin to Championship clubs.
Clarke, who is assisted by former Town hero Marcus Stewart, prides himself on being bold with his tactics and substitutions. He still has four years left on his contract at The Memorial Stadium.
Once regarded as one of the country’s brightest managerial prospects, the former Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn boss was strongly linked with the Sunderland and West Brom jobs.
He is currently the assistant manager at Leicester, having left his role as Oxford boss to work with Craig Shakespeare following Claudio Ranieri’s sacking. He won his two matches as Foxes caretaker following Shakespeare’s departure, before staying on to work with Claude Puel.
As a highly regarded coach, he is another to have been approached by agents working for the Blues.
The Exeter boss, known for his distinctive dress sense, is English football’s longest serving boss, following Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal departure.
He has been at Exeter for more than 11 years, securing two promotions on that time, and is a win away from another as the Grecians prepare for this weekend’s League Two play-off final against Coventry.
He has been heavily linked with the MK Dons job but is understood to be one of a number of lower league managers subtly sounded out early in the process.