Marco Silva is reportedly being lined up to replace Alan Pardew if the under-fire chief West Brom chief gets the boot.
The Baggies were dumped out of the FA Cup by Southampton days after the taxi-gate scandal heaped embarrassment on The Hawthorns.
Rock-bottom Albion also sacked chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman as the supremos paid the price for bad form.
Pards, 56, has two games to save his job, and 40-year-old ex-Watford chief Silva is the bookies’ No1 choice to replace him.
The Portuguese tactician – who left the Hornets amid reports his head had been turned by Everton’s advances- is evens to land the post.
Silva failed to keep Hull up last season but performed well at Watford until he was accused of losing focus due to the speculation.
Harry Redknapp was the early favourite but has slipped to 5-1, with Gary Megson and Mark Hughes among the other contenders.
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After Gareth Barry, Jonny Evans, Boaz Myhill and Jake Livermore were involved in an alleged theft of a taxi, a source in China told SunSport that the debacle has raised doubts about Pardew’s leadership.
The source revelead: “[West Brom owner] Mr Lai is furious.
“In China, discipline is a basic skill, the minimum required to be successful in any professional.
“He cannot believe that a group of players who are supposed to be all pulling their weight in getting out of trouble in the league cannot stay out of trouble off the field.
“It has raised serious concerns about Pardew’s leadership because he is the man who should be setting an example.
“Lai is not a patient man. He expects results. He won’t be sacking Pardew on this issue alone.”