Middlesbrough’s search for a new manager is set to drag on into a fourth week - as a number of key contenders are ruled-out the race.
Boro are still yet to appoint a successor to Tony Pulis, who left the Riverside Stadium almost a month ago, but a decision is expected to be made by the end of next week.
Jonathan Woodgate remains the favourite with the bookmakers and a popular choice among the club’s playing staff – with his presentation to the Middlesbrough hierarchy believed to have been an impressive one.
The club are continuing to talk to a number of potential candidates, but it is understood that they have not approached any manager or coach currently employed by another club.
That means the likes of Daniel Stendel, Danny Cowley and John Terry – all of whom have been leading contenders with the bookmakers at one point - are unlikely to be appointed.
Also an unlikely choice is former Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic, whose wage demands and desired transfer budget could prove difficult for the club to satisfy.
And while the likes of Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder have also been mentioned, it seems Woodgate is in pole position to land the job.
His closest rival with the bookmakers is Jorge Simao, the Portuguese coach who emerged as a surprise contender earlier this week.
Simao is keen to land a job in English football as he bids to broaden his horizons, and it remains to be seen whether he is a serious contender for Boro.