Derek McInnes has emerged as a shock contender to land the vacant hotseat at Kilmarnock.
Record Sport can reveal the former Aberdeen boss has held initial discussions with the Championship club about taking over from Tommy Wright, who was sacked after a ropey run of results which has undermined hopes of a quick return to the top flight.
And those talks are set to continue over the next 24 hours as Killie close in on what would be a major managerial coup.
McInnes was on the verge of landing the Rangers job just four years ago before turning it down to remain at Pittodrie. And he was in the running to become Scotland boss before being pipped to the post by former Killie rival Steve Clarke in 2019.
But now the 50-year-old could make a surprise return to the dugout at Rugby Park after spending nine months out of the game following the end of his eight year reign in the North East.
Just last month McInnes was in advanced talks with Ipswich before the ambitious League One club appointed Kieran McKenna instead at the eleventh hour.
But that set-back looks to have played into Kilmarnock’s hands with McInnes now willing to consider dropping down the divisions to head up the club’s promotion push in the second half of the season.