Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini is the favourite to replace Alan Pardew at St James' Park should the Toon boss join Crystal Palace this week.
Pardew has been given permission to talk with Palace, for whom he made 129 appearances from 1987-1991, after The Eagles parted ways with Neil Warnock prior to the Premier League draw with Queens Park Rangers.
Rumours swelled regarding Pardew's future at Newcastle after the 53-year-old did not attend the post-match press conference following the 3-2 victory over Everton on Sunday (28 December), the club's first win in five matches.
The popularity of Pardew has wavered throughout his spell as manager of Newcastle, with a lack of control over transfers and a failure to establish the club as a genuine top six challenger making his role unstable despite signing an eight-year contract in 2012.
Among the contenders to succeed Pardew is skipper Coloccini, who became the bookmakers' favourite on Monday, ahead of Hull City's Steve Bruce, ex-Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood and former Stoke City and Palace boss Tony Pulis.
Coloccini, who joined Newcastle in 2008, has a good relationship with owner Mike Ashley and the option for the centre-back to replace Pardew was discussed as recently as 2013 when the Argentine international was on the brink of leaving the north east.
The former San Lorenzo defender would likely take on the role on an interim basis and combine responsibilities with his playing commitments with the 32-year-old still an influential member of the Magpies first team.
The position of Coloccini as favourite for the post at Newcastle has been strengthened after Ajax manager Frank de Boer was ruled out of contention for the position.
Representative Guido Albers said: "Frank will never leave Ajax during this season. There has been no contact to myself, or Ajax, from another club for Frank. We have received no approach at this stage."