Mandaric prepares for Jewell hunt

CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City's hopes of bringing Paul Jewell to Carrow Road could be gazumped by Leicester City. Jewell is thought to be the top name on the Canaries' short-list, with rumours gathering pace that he will be named within days as the successor to the ill-fated Peter Grant and charged with the task of lifting Norwich off the bottom of the Championship.

CHRIS LAKEY

Norwich City's hopes of bringing Paul Jewell to Carrow Road could be gazumped by Leicester City.

Jewell is thought to be the top name on the Canaries' short-list, with rumours gathering pace that he will be named within days as the successor to the ill-fated Peter Grant and charged with the task of lifting Norwich off the bottom of the Championship.

But Leicester chairman Milan Mandaric is thought to be ready to step in a try, for a second time, to persuade Jewell to move to The Walker's Stadium and become Leicester's fifth manager of 2007.


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City are in dire need of a leader off the pitch, with caretaker manager Jim Duffy likely to have presided over his last game at the weekend when City went down 2-0 at West Bromwich Albion - his third defeat in three matches in temporary charge.

Duffy has called on City to resolve the matter as soon as possible before matters get even worse for City, but Leicester's intervention could hamper that process.

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Other names have begun emerging from the pile of around 50 applications for the job, with Glenn Roeder and Martin Allen said to be at short odds for the job, although Charlton's assistant manager Phil Parkinson is now out of the running.

And while the News of the World yesterday linked Plymouth boss Ian Holloway with the post, it is the name of Jewell which is on everyone's lips, with City believed to be carrying out second interviews today.

The 43-year-old has been out of sight but rarely out of mind in recent weeks, with initial reports linking him with the vacancy at Bolton, before Gary Megson's surprise move to the Reebok Stadium turned the thinking towards a return in the Championship.

Jewell has been taking a sabbatical since leaving Wigan a day after steering the Latics to Premier League safety at the end of last season.

Mandaric was keen to bring him out of his temporary retirement two months ago after sacking Allen and now wants a second bite at the cherry.

Jewell has spent most of the past two weeks out of the country, but it is understood City have had at least two “phone interviews” with him and planned a face-to-face on his return to England.

Whoever wins the race for Jewell has no compensation issue with another club to negotiate, and according to Wigan owner Dave Whelan, there is no clause in their former manager's pay-off deal which prevents him joining another club for six months - a dateline which would have expired on November 14.

“There's nothing in writing or contractually preventing Paul taking another job if he so chooses,” said Whelan. “It was made clear to Paul on the day he left Wigan he could go where he wanted and when he so wished.”

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