Next Middlesbrough manager: Jonathan Woodgate remains the favourite with THREE candidates closing in

Jonathan Woodgate remains the favourite to become the next permanent Middlesbrough manager.
Jonathan Woodgate remains the favourite to become the next permanent Middlesbrough manager.

Jonathan Woodgate remains the favourite to become Middlesbrough's next manager - yet other names have entered the frame over the weekend.

Woodgate, who joined Boro's backroom staff in 2017, was quickly inserted as the leading contender to replace Tony Pulis on Friday morning, following news that the Welshman wouldn't be offered a new deal.

One report even claimed Woodgate was expected to take over at the Riverside, following Boro's failure to reach the Championship play-offs.

Yet the former Real Madrid defender's odds have drifted since Friday, with Woodgate now priced at 7/4 with bookmakers SkyBet to take charge at the Riverside.

While Woodgate's odds have lengthened over the last few days, others have seen their prices shorten, with Lincoln manager Danny Cowley now second favourite with the bookies at 3/1.

After taking charge of Lincoln in 2016, Cowley has led The Imps from the National League to League One in just three years, after winning the League Two title by six points this term.

Cowley's reduced odds came after Press Association Sport claimed Cowley was on Boro chairman Steve Gibson's shortlist.

Former Brighton boss Chris Hughton has also seen his odds shorten to 4/1 since the initial news broke regarding Pulis' departure.

The 60-year-old has two Championship promotions on his CV after reaching the top-flight with Newcastle in 2010 and with the Seagulls in 2017.

The other name among the early favourites is German boss Tim Walter, the head coach of Bundesliga 2 side Holstein Kiel.

Walter became the coach of Bayern Munich II in 2017 before moving to Kiel last year.

After guiding Kiel to a sixth-place finish this term, Walter is now being tipped for a job in the German top-flight, and is priced at 5/1 to take over at the Riverside.

It is also thought that Kiel would seek a compensation fee to lure Walter away from the club.

Further down the list of candidates to replace Pulis come ex-Boro defender Michael Reiziger and former boss Aitor Karanka at 10/1 and 12/1 respectively.