Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce has emerged as the favourite to succeed Chris Hutchings as Wigan Athletic manager, six years after he left the Latics following a brief spell in charge at the JJB Stadium.
Wigan have reportedly approached City for permission to speak to Bruce, who is concerned that he may lose his job at St Andrew's should Carson Yeung's proposed takeover go through.
Hutchings was axed earlier this month after the Latics slipped into the Premier League's relegation zone.
Former Wigan boss Paul Jewell, who resigned at the end of last season after guiding the club away from relegation, was chairman Dave Whelan's preferred successor to Hutchings.
However, Jewell confirmed he would not be returning to the club on Tuesday, saying: "Dave Whelan made me an absolutely fantastic offer, an unbelievable offer, but I've had my time there. I'm ready to come back to work but I'm not for Wigan.
"I was disappointed to see Chris Hutchings lose his job. The chairman called me last Monday to see if I was interested but I said when we stayed up that I'd taken Wigan as far as I could and I still believe that.
"I took them from the third tier to the Premier League and a cup final and I'm proud of that but it was time for Wigan and me to move on."
Graeme Souness and Joe Royle have also been linked with the Wigan job.
Bruce, who managed Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town, Wigan and Crystal Palace in a three-year spell between 1998-2001, has been in charge at Birmingham since December 2001.
He was in charge of the Latics for only eight games at the end of the 2000-01 campaign before joining Palace.