Oldham Athletic have denied receiving any approach from Leeds United for John Sheridan after the former Whites midfielder emerged as a potential frontrunner for the head coach’s job at Elland Road.
Sheridan - a cult hero at Leeds in the 1980s - has been the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Steve Evans since the start of this week and he was reported today to have held two rounds of talks with owner Massimo Cellino.
Cellino is on the verge of changing first-team boss again after 38 games with Evans in charge and Sheridan is being touted as a serious contender for the post.
The 51-year-old has been at Oldham since January, his second spell in full-time control of the club where he finished his playing career in 2004.
Sheridan inherited a squad heading for relegation from League One and guided them to 17th in the table. His current job is the latest in a managerial career which has taken him to Chesterfield, Plymouth Argyle and Newport County.
Cellino, however, has distanced himself from talk of a move for Sheridan and Oldham confirmed that Leeds were yet to submit and an official approach for him.
United would be required to pay compensation to buy him out of his deal at Boundary Park.
A statement from Oldham read: “We haven’t received an approach and one wouldn’t be welcomed.”
The link to Sheridan came amid a flurry of speculation about potential replacements for Evans in the past 24 hours. Evans remains in his job as head coach but is likely to be replaced before his contract ends on June 30.
Cellino plans to hold an Elland Road board meeting next week to discuss plans for next season but reports in Italy yesterday claimed the former Cagliari owner was in discussions with Giuseppe Iachini, a coach who was at Palermo this season.
Iachini - a former Fiorentina player - has won multiple promotions to Serie A as a coach and guided Palermo out of Serie B in 2014 but he was part of a bizarre chain of events at Palermo last season which saw the club’s owner, Maurizio Zamparini, appoint four bosses in the space of month.
Having started the season in charge and been sacked in November, Iachini’s comeback in February last for less than 60 days before Zamparini dismissed him again.
Sources at Elland Road have long indicated that Cellino favours a foreign successor to Evans and the United owner is being credited with an ambitious interest in Watford’s Quique Sanchez Flores.
Flores is widely expected to leave Vicarage Road in the coming weeks despite keeping Watford in the Premier League this term.
A month ago, meanwhile, rumours surrounded a bid by Leeds to land Croatian Ivan Juric, who recently led Crotone to the Serie B title in Italy.
Juric told Croatian media this week that he had received an offer from England but said: “I decided that this is not the right time for that. I would like to stay in Italy for two, maybe three seasons before going to England.”