Hull City expect to have their new manager in place within the next week with Steve Bruce the hot favourite to take over at the KC Stadium.
The former Sunderland boss has been out of work since being axed from his role at the Stadium of Light in November of last year.
But he now appears to be in pole position to take the helm with the Championship outfit, who sacked Nick Barmby earlier this month for comments he made about the club's finances before rejecting his appeal against the abrupt dismissal.
Tigers vice-chairman Ehab Allam has been tasked by his father and Hull chairman Assem Allam with appointing the new manager and has confirmed that there are now two main names in the frame for the post.
Allam would not comment when asked if contact had been made with Bruce, telling the Hull Daily Mail: "We are not in a position to divulge the identities of our preferred candidates at this stage.
"We need to be mindful and respectful of ongoing negotiations.
"We've whittled down our options and there's two candidates we're now looking at seriously.
"We've not made any decisions as yet but we're making progress all the time. We have spoken with agents in the last couple of days and will take that further towards a speedy resolution now.
"There's still a lot of work to do. I had been waiting to hear the outcome of Nick's appeal, but I am 100 per cent focused on this from now until there's a new manager in place.
"We would fully expect that to happen by the end of next week."