Sheffield United: Who next for Blades after Nigel Clough’s exit?

Nigel Adkins is also out of work
Nigel Adkins is also out of work
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SHEFFIELD UNITED are seeking an eighth full-time manager in as many years following the sacking of Nigel Clough and a host of candidates have already been mentioned.

The successful person will be assigned with the considerable task restoring the Bramall Lane outfit to the Championship at the earliest juncture, something Danny Wilson, David Weir and Clough failed to do - each finding out how costly that failure was with their jobs.

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson.

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson.

The Blades hierarchy are compiling a short-list of candidates and are aiming for a quick appointment by the end of the month.

A plethora of names have already been throw into the equation although national reports suggest that former Brentford manager Mark Warburton has snubbed the Blades’ advances.

The 49-year-old, who left Griffin Park following the Bees’ play-off semi-final loss to Middlesbrough, was reportedly the number one target of the South Yorkshire outfit.

Reports say that Warburton, who was also linked with Leeds prior to the appointment of his predecessor at Brentford, Uwe Rosler, is keen on remaining in the Championship. He is also a target for Scottish giants Rangers.

Here’s a look at the leading candidates for the Blades post, two of whom include bosses who are currently in employment in Phil Parkinson and Steve Evans.

PHIL PARKINSON

The 47-year-old Bradford boss is one of the leading names in the frame for the Blades post, although Valley Parade chairman Mark Lawn last night revealed that the Blades had not been in touch.

The former Reading chief has another year left on his Bradford deal, having signed a new three-year contract in May 2013.

Has won admirers for his sterling work at Bradford in taking them to the final of the Capital One Cup in 2013 and the quarter-finals of the FA Cup this season. He also clinched promotion to League One at Wembley in 2012-13.

NIGEL ADKINS

Out of work and available after leaving Reading in December and recently linked with Leeds United, not for the first time - having also been tipped for the posts at Notts County and QPR this calendar year.

Things didn’t work out for him in Berkshire, but the stock of the former Scunthorpe chief remains high, with the Liverpudlian having clinched back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League in a joyous ride at Southampton.

The 50-year-old was also promoted to the second tier with Iron in 2006-07, courtesy of a 3-2 victory over Millwall at Wembley - to book the Lincolnshire outfit a return to the Championship at the first time of asking.

His promotion credentials will represent an attraction to the Blades.

STEVE EVANS

The stock of the Scot, 52, is high after he followed up back-to-back promotions with the Millers by helping the club record Championship safety last term, despite the handicap of a three-point penalty.

Under contract at Rotherham and already planning for next season there, but it has not stopped him being linked with rival jobs, including Peterborough United - his family home is in the East Anglian city and now the Blades, who have history in raiding their near-neighbours for a manager. Think Ian Porterfield in the early 80s.

Evans has secured promotions at all the clubs he has managed - including the Millers, Boston United and Crawley Town.

KARL ROBINSON

The MK Dons chief has been linked with the Blades before and his name is again in the frame, with some national reports suggesting that the Scouser is the Blades top target.

Robinson, 34, guided MK Dons to the Championship for the first time this season, winning automatic promotion and his name was mentioned ahead of David Weir taking the post in the summer of 2013.

Reports say that Robinson is keen on moving to a club closer to his family in the north.

DARREN FERGUSON

The former Peterborough manager, 43, figures prominently in the betting and is ready for his next challenge after leaving Posh - where he secured three promotions in two different spells at London Road.

ALAN STUBBS

A bit of a left-field name in the betting, but keen on proving himself back in England after an impressive job north of the border with Hibernian.

Hibs want to tie the 43-year-old down to a long-term deal, with Hibees players waiting for him to commit to the club before they do. But a move to the Blades could prove a strong allure for the Liverpudlian.