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Ex-Irish star Hughton favourite for Birmingham job

Former Irish international Chris Hughton is one of six names on a shortlist for the Birmingham City manager’s job.

The job became vacant when current boss Alex McLeish said he was quitting the club, which was relegated from the Premiership last month.

Earlier in the season Birmingham won the League Cup at Wembley.

Former Newcastle boss Hughton is joined on a list that also includes the likes of Gianfranco Zola and Roberto Di Matteo, who are under consideration by owner Carson Yeung.

But rumours that the club has already asked permission to speak to Portsmouth boss Steve Cotterill are now believed to be untrue.

Birmingham are eager to make an appointment as quickly as possible as they have to prepare for a Europa League campaign later this summer, in addition to trying to gain promotion from the Championship.

Pannu said: “I am discussing the situation with Carson and we hope to install the new man as soon as possible. There are at least six on the radar.”

Hughton is the number one choice of Birmingham fans in a poll conducted by the Birmingham Mail newspaper. But Di Matteo and Zola are also free agents after their previous spells as manager of West Brom and West Ham respectively.

Hughton played for the Republic of Ireland in the 1988 European Championship Finals in Germany and was a long term player at Spurs.