New favourite emerges as Middlesbrough prepare to announce new boss 'in next few days'
Jorge Simao has emerged as the bookmakers' favourite to take over at Middlesbrough after reports suggest he has been interviewed for the vacant managerial role.
Tony Pulis left his position at the Riverside Stadium almost four weeks ago and in that time, betting odds have often shifted between several candidates.
First-team coach Jonathan Woodgate has been frequently tipped to fill Pulis' shoes while former Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic is also believed to be among the frontrunners.
However, after a report by the Daily Telegraph stated Simao has held talks with Boro chairman Steve Gibson - the bookies' odds have swayed in favour of the 42-year-old.
Simao, a Portuguese coach, has slowly gone about his business in his homeland by taking charge of seven clubs in the last five years.
However, while that may suggest Simao is a somewhat journeyman, he is regarded highly despite never hitting the heights as a player after featuring in the lower Portuguese divisions.
Simao started his managerial career with Belenenses, qualifying them for the Europa League before joining FC Pacos de Ferreira.
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While assisting Wolves attacker Diogo Jota's development, Simao guided FC Pacos de Ferreira to their highest-ever points total in the top-flight.
And in a bid to enhance his reputation, Simao is keen to work in England but faces competition from Woodgate, Jokanovic, Mikel Arteta and Paul Heckingbottom for the Boro role.
A final decision over the next Boro boss is expected to announced in the next few days.
Meanwhile, Middlesbrough are in advanced talks to sign ADO Den Haag winger Sheraldo Becker, according to Football Insider.
The Dutchman is out-of-contract this summer and has attracted interest from Championship rivals Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday.
The 24-year-old has been described as a pacey and creative wideman, something which Boro lacked last season after Adama Traore's departure.