Former Brentford, Aston Villa and Norwich manager Dean Smith is in ‘advanced discussions’ to become the new Leicester City manager, according to reports.
If appointed, the 52-year-old will be tasked with dragging the Foxes out of the relegation zone, with the former Premier League champions currently second-bottom of the table.
Smith has plenty of experience in both the Premier League and the Championship, so he certainly has the credentials to succeed at Leicester.
As previously reported by TEAMtalk, Smith is thought to be one of three main candidates to take the helm at the King Power, after talks between the club and Jesse Marsch broke down on Sunday.
Rafael Benitez and Martin O’Neil were also being considered by the Leicester hierarchy, but it now seems that Smith is the new favourite.
The Foxes are reportedly keen to appoint a new manager as soon as possible, with them currently second-bottom of the Premier League table – two points adrift from safety.
Indeed, Leicester have picked up just 25 points from a possible 90 so far – by far their worst tally since their ‘great escape’ from relegation back in the 2014/15 season.
Ornstein: Leicester in ‘advanced’ talks with Smith
According to reputed football journalist David Ornstein, Leicester are now in ‘advanced discussions’ with Smith, with the English coach expected to take charge of the club in the coming days.
On Twitter, he wrote: “Leicester in advanced discussions to name Dean Smith as interim until end of the season.”
“If deal struck, 52yo former Brentford, Aston Villa & Norwich boss would be joined by Craig Shakespeare + other staff.”
As mentioned, Smith will have a challenge on his hands to keep Leicester in the Premier League. But, after a short stint in charge of Norwich, he has plenty of experience in relegation battles.
However, another credible source, Fabrizio Romano, has suggested that Benitez is not out of the race yet.
He said: “Two meetings took place between Rafa Benitez and Leicester to discuss about contract & project — but there’s still no full agreement.”
“Leicester are also speaking to Dean Smith over interim job, talks ongoing with his representatives as reported by @RobTannerLCFC.”
Looking at both of those reports, it seems that Smith is indeed the new favourite to take the job at Leicester, while Benitez cannot be fully discounted, just yet.
The Foxes will no doubt want to get a deal finalised quickly though, as they prepare for a huge game against second place Manchester City on Saturday.