ROTHERHAM UNITED have moved a major step closer to appointing their new full-time manager - having been granted permission to speak with No 1 target Alan Stubbs.
Hibernian reluctantly allowed the 44-year-old, first choice to replace Neil Warnock, to speak with the Millers following a request by the South Yorkshire outfit on Monday.
The former Everton and Bolton defender, who recently led the Edinburgh outfit to victory over Rangers in the Scottish Cup final, was pipped for the Millers post in October when Neil Redfearn was handed the task of following on from Steve Evans.
Despite that decision, the Millers were impressed by the credentials of the Liverpudlian, who was top of their list of candidates when it came to discussing Warnock’s replacement.
Stubbs has a year left on his contract and compensation would be due to Hibs if he accepts the Millers job. He missed out on his primary goal of winning promotion from the Scottish Championship last term, but is top of a shortlist of six names put together by the Millers, whose chairman Tony Stewart is confident of being able to lure Stubbs.
He said last week ahead of an approach to Hibs: “I think if we get permission to open talks, the rest would be plain sailing.”
Rotherham, who are preparing for a third season in England’s second tier, confirmed talks will take place on Tuesday.
“We wish to inform our supporters that the club has been granted permission to speak to Alan Stubbs by Hibernian FC,” said a Millers statement.
“Talks regarding the vacant manager’s position will take place over the course of the next 24 hours with Alan.”
A Hibernian statement released on Monday evening, said: “The club has reluctantly given Rotherham United FC permission to speak with head coach Alan Stubbs.
“The club initially refused a request from Rotherham towards the end of last week, but following a subsequent meeting between Alan, chief executive Leeann Dempster and head of football operations George Craig, the club has allowed Rotherham to speak with Alan.”
Dempster, who has just returned from a weekend away, is hopeful that Stubbs will stay at the club.
She said: “Throughout, we have made it plain to Alan that we want him to remain as head coach of Hibernian and build on what has been achieved. Despite that, Alan has expressed an interest in hearing what Rotherham have to say.
“I believe that our best chance to keep Alan focused and positive about his job at Hibernian is to allow a brief window within which Alan can speak to Rotherham. Reluctantly therefore, we have agreed to allow that to happen and we will take stock after that.
“While we have agreed to the request, we hope that Alan will see a brighter future here at Hibernian with the continued full support of the board.”