Dennis Wise could make a quick return to football with Watford.
The former Chelsea skipper, who has been out of work since being axed from role as director of football at Newcastle earlier this year, is understood to have applied for the vacancy at Vicarage Road.
Watford are looking for a new manager after Brendan Rogers quit to take over at Championship rivals Reading.
Wise, 42, believes the Hornets offer him an ideal route back into management, although he may face competition from his former Chelsea team-mate Gus Poyet.
Colchester boss Paul Lambert and former Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler are also in the frame, although Watford first-team coach Malkay Mackay could be the cheap option for the cash-strapped club.
'We'll take our time to pick somebody right for Watford,' said chairman Jimmy Russo.
Wise enjoyed successful stints in charge of Millwall and Swindon before his forgettable switch to Newcastle.
The ex-England midfielder was brought in to work on transfers without the knowledge of then Toon boss Kevin Keegan.
However, the fans soon turned on Wise and owner Mike Ashley as they started slipping towards their eventual relegation to the Championship.