With just weeks left until the start of the 2019/20 season, Sheffield Wednesday find themselves looking for a new manager after Steve Bruce resigned from his position.
The former Wigan, Sunderland and Aston Villa boss has been strongly linked with a move to Newcastle United, who themselves have been forced into finding a new manager following the departure of Rafa Benitez. And on the back of the speculation, it seems that the 58-year-old is trying to secure the move by leaving the Owls.
Bruce was initially seen as an outsider for the Newcastle job, with odds of 50/1 available for him to move to St James Park back in June. But it seems that he is Mike Ashley's first choice, with reports suggesting that he will pay Sheffield Wednesday £4 million to take both him and his coaching staff.
Having just played their first pre-season matches against Lincoln City and Stocksbridge Park Steels, now is far from an ideal time for the South Yorkshire side to be losing their manager. It is a huge setback for a club who had finally began to turn things around under the former Manchester United defender and throws all of their preparation for the new campaign into chaos.
They must now work quickly to get someone in as soon as possible, preferably with plenty of pre-season left to give the new man a chance to implement his ideas ahead of the start of the Championship season.
But who will Sheffield Wednesday bring in? We have taken a look at the betting odds to see who they are predicting will be next person to take charge of the Owls.
Chris Hughton favourite to become next Sheffield Wednesday manager
Bookmakers have priced up Chris Hughton as the early favourite to take over at Hillsborough, with Sky Bet offering odds of 1/1 for the 60-year-old to get the job.
The former Republic of Ireland international has been out of work since Brighton & Hove Albion let him go at the end of last season, but he left the south coast club with his reputation firmly in tact.
Hughton was the man who got the Seagulls promoted to the Premier League back in the 2016/17 season, finishing as runners-up to Newcastle United. He then successfully kept the club in the top flight for the next two seasons, although there were some nerves towards the end of last season as they survived by the skin of their teeth.
On paper, it looks like this would be a positive appointment for Sheffield Wednesday. He is a manager with great experience, particularly in the Championship where he has won promotion with Newcastle United as well as Brighton. He also enjoyed a stint at Birmingham City and guided them to a play-off finish in his only season at St Andrews.
If social media is anything to go by, he would also be a popular appointment too with plenty of the Owls fan base calling for Hughton to replace Bruce.
Odds tumble on Gianfranco Zola getting the Sheffield Wednesday job
Another contender according to the odds is Gianfranco Zola. The Italian was initially priced up at 16/1 to become the next Sheffield Wednesday manager, but those odds were slashed to 9/2 as the market began to take shape.
Zola most recently held a coaching position at Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri, but left after his fellow Italian moved on to Juventus. But he has been a manager in his own right before, including taking charge of three clubs in England.
He managed West Ham United between 2008-10, but struggled towards the end of his spell at Upton Park and only just kept them in the Premier League. At Watford he did well, guiding them to the Championship play-off final before resigning midway into his second season.
Most recently he was at Birmingham City, a job which was damaging for his reputation as a manager. He took over from Gary Rowett who had been harshly sacked despite the club being in seventh place in the second tier. Zola failed to build on these foundations and they plummeted down the table as he managed to win just two of his 24 matches in charge of the Blues.
He would be lucky to get another chance at managing in the Championship on the back of that, but with Sheffield Wednesday's fondness of hiring foreign managers recently, Bruce aside, he could be the man they turn to.
Next Sheffield Wednesday manager odds:
(All odds taken from Sky Bet, correct as of 15th July 2019)
- Chris Hughton - 1/1
- Gianfranco Zola - 9/2
- Martin Jol - 8/1
- Daniel Stendel - 8/1
- Garry Monk - 10/1
- David Moyes - 12/1
- Gary Rowett - 12/1
- Lee Bullen - 12/1
- Nigel Pearson - 12/1
- Aitor Karanka - 16/1
- Tony Pulis - 16/1
- Claude Puel - 16/1
- Nigel Adkins - 18/1
- Giovanni van Bronckhorst - 18/1
- Alan Pardew - 18/1