Ousted Heckingbottom in the frame for Bradford City job

PAUL HECKINGBOTTOM has emerged as a serious candidate for the vacant Bradford City job, The Yorkshire Post understands.

Former Barnsley and Leeds United head coach Paul Heckingbottom is in the frame for the Bradford City post. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The Bantams have spent the past month searching for Simon Grayson’s successor and are hoping to make an appointment this week.

All manner of candidates have been spoken to as part of what City’s owners, Edin Rahic and Stefan Rupp, were always adamant would be a thorough selection process.

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Heckingbottom’s sacking by Leeds United last Friday, however, has alerted the Bradford board and it is believed feelers have been put out concerning any potential interest. He spent three years at Valley Parade as a player across two spells with the club.

Bradford are desperate to banish memories of a how a likely third tilt at the play-offs in January turned into a mid-table finish.

Stuart McCall was sacked in the wake of a six-game losing run, while Grayson, despite four League One promotions on his CV, was unable to halt the club’s slide down the table.

Grayson left on May 8 after turning down the club’s offer of a two-year contract.

Several names have been linked with the vacancy since then, including record signing David Hopkin, Grant McCann and John Askey.

Askey last week took charge of Shrewsbury Town, a post Hopkin was previously understood to be in the running for after quitting Livingston.

Leeds, meanwhile, are also hoping to make further progress in their own search for a new head coach this week.

Marcelo Bielsa remains the club’s first choice to succeed Heckingbottom and talks have reached an advanced stage.

But there remains several obstacles to overcome before the former Argentina and Chile national coach can be installed at Elland Road.

Other candidates are also under consideration if Bielsa, whose last job in France with Lille ended last December, cannot be lured to the Championship with Leeds well aware that the clock is already ticking towards next season.

The players have already been told to return for pre-season training on June 25 and United want the new man in place well before then.