BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Hibernian face a battle to hold onto Alan Stubbs after Rotherham United stepped up their chase for the Scottish Cup-winning coach.
The Skybet Championship outfit are on the hunt for a new boss after Neil Warnock declined to extend his contract with the club and have pinpointed Stubbs as one of three top targets.
As well as requesting permission to officially speak to the Easter Road gaffer, United are expected to hold talks with former Hibs boss Tony Mowbray, currently manager of Coventry City, over the weekend.
Former Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer, ex-Sheffield Wednesday gaffer Stuart Gray and Steve McClaren are among the other names linked with the vacancy, albeit the latter is thought to have ruled himself out.
Hibs are understood to be keen to hold onto Stubbs, who ended the club’s 114-year wait for the Scottish Cup last weekend.
”Alan Stubbs is one of our three favourites for the job but we will do things the right way. We must first ask Hibs for permission before we speak to Alan directly,” Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart told STV.
“Since being promoted to the Championship we have twice narrowly avoided relegation but we have learned very little from the experience. We want a manager who can help the club grow and take us up the league.”
Stubbs, who was strongly linked with the Millers in October prior to Neil Redfearn’s appointment, has intimated that he is keen to remain at Easter Road and guide the club back to the Premiership.
However, his family still live in the north-west of England and he has made no secret of his desire to one day manage at the highest level south of the border, meaning he could see the role as an attractive stepping stone.
Due to the finances on offer in the English second tier, it is likely that Rotherham would be also be able to table a substantial pay rise for the former Bolton, Celtic and Everton star.
Should Hibs grant Stubbs permission to enter talks with the Championship outfit, negotiations are likely to move swiftly as Rotherham are keen to appoint a new boss by next week.