Gary Speed has moved a step closer to becoming the new manager of Wales.
The current Sheffield United boss has been given permission by the Blades to speak to the Welsh FA with regard to the position. It is understood the Welsh FA are likely to confirm Speed in the post on Tuesday.
A statement from United read: "Sheffield United have given Gary Speed permission to speak to the Welsh FA with regard to the position of international manager, and a further statement is expected to be made on Tuesday. Meanwhile, coach John Carver will continue to take the Blades' training session today as normal."
Speed only stepped into club management in August, taking over at Bramall Lane from the sacked Kevin Blackwell despite no previous experience as a boss.
Speed boasts considerable pedigree as a player with Leeds, Everton, Newcastle and Bolton, prior to joining the Blades in the twilight of his career, as well as 85 appearances for Wales, a record for an outfield player.
But so far he has struggled to make the grade as a manager as he has won just six of 18 matches in charge of United who are just two places and one point above the npower Championship relegation zone.
Speed, though, has long been favourite for the vacant Wales job ahead of Chris Coleman, Brian Flynn, the current Under-21 boss who is also in temporary charge of the senior side, and former Sweden manager Lars Lagerback.
Despite United's poor form, Speed refused to use the speculation linking him to Wales as an excuse.
Following Saturday's 1-0 defeat at South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley, Speed said: "If you're weak-minded you can use that as an excuse, but I'm not using it as an excuse and the players certainly won't be using it as an excuse."
Speed's almost certain exit will now hasten United's bid for a new manager of their own ahead of the usually hectic Christmas and New Year period.