Nigel Clough could become the new manager of Derby County – the club his father Brian transformed into the champions of England more than 35 years ago – in just a “matter of days”.
Adam Pearson, Derby's chairman of football, told reporters in a conference call on Monday: “Nigel is one of the names in the frame… we've spoken to his chairman and everything seems positive.”
Derby, now just above the relegation zone in the second-tier Championship, are presently without a full-time manager after Paul Jewell resigned last week following an unsuccessful 13-month spell in charge which saw the club relegated from the lucrative Premier League.
But the club's American owners are determined to take the Midlands side back to the top-flight.
And Derby fans will have a fresh taste of the big-time when their side plays English, European and world champions Manchester United at Pride Park on Wednesday in the first leg of their English League Cup semi-final.
Since retiring as a player Nigel Clough, a former England midfielder, has built a reputation as a manager in non-league football with Derby's near neighbours Burton Albion, where he has been in charge for over a decade.
“There is obviously a connection with his father but, more importantly he ticks the boxes on a number of other attributes,” Pearson said of Clough.
“We are looking for a manager who can develop, coach and build the confidence of what we believe to be a good squad of players. Nigel has that manner, he is firm and fair, considerate and intelligent and confident.
“Is it a done deal? No, it's not,” Pearson stressed. “There are other young, upcoming managers also in the frame who have similar attributes. We are looking for that type of manager.
“We haven't had a formal discussion with Nigel but the appointment of a permanent manager is literally days away.
“Nigel is very much in the frame. I've known him a very long time and he has the right attributes and the right skills. We've spoken to his chairman about the possibility and everything seems positive.
“But there are also one or two others, which we are keeping under wraps, who we are also having close discussions with. But it would be foolhardy not to admit my interest in Nigel.”
Clough, 42, grew up in Derby when his father was County's manager.
Brian Clough turned a team languishing in the old Second Division when he became Derby manager in 1967 into First Division champions at the end of the 1971/72 season.
However, in 1973, he resigned following a power struggle with Derby chairman Sam Longson.
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