FORMER Hartlepool United boss John Hughes looks set to miss out on the vacant position at Sheffield United.
Reports have emerged suggesting Motherwell manager Stuart McCall is set to open talks with the Blade over the next 24 hours.
Hughes, who was sacked by Pools earlier this month, was understood to have been interviewed as the possible successor to another former Victoria Park boss, Danny Wilson.
But McCall now looks to be in pole position.
The 48-year-old finished his playing career with the South Yorkshire club before moving onto the coaching staff in 2004.
Bradford City gave him his first managerial position in May, 2007 but he departed Valley Parade after three years having failed to get them out of League Two.
He replaced Craig Brown at Fir Park in December 2010 and guided Motherwell to sixth place and the Scottish Cup final that season.
Last term they finished third in the league and qualified for the Champions League.
McCall, who signed a new-two year deal in March, but is also a member of Scotland manager Gordon Strachan’s coaching team, moved to distance himself from the Sheffield United vacancy after Motherwell’s final game of the season at St Johnstone on Sunday.
“It’s a story that’s not worth speaking about because it’s all speculation,” he said.
“I’ve never as a player, coach or manager sought to go elsewhere.
“I’ve always been happy here and if anything at all ever comes up and is put to me, that is the time we’ll talk about it, but at this moment in time it’s been pure speculation.”