Jim Magilton has emerged as the front runner to become the new Director of Football at Dundalk FC.
The 51-year-old is currently the Elite Performance Director of the IFA in Northern Ireland – a position he has held since 2013.
However, it is understood that the former Liverpool, Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town midfielder has been offered a newly created role at Oriel Park which would see him oversee the Louth men off the field.
Chairman Bill Hulsizer admitted that there were three candidates in the running for the post.
“We have a shortlist and it’s got three people on it,” the 78-year-old confirmed.
“We haven’t come to an agreement with any of the three yet but we’re trying and hopefully it will happen in the next couple of weeks. We’ve been searching for a while and we’ve now found three candidates and we’ll choose one of them sometime in the next two weeks.”
Asked what the new person’s exact title would be, Hulsizer said: “Boss. I don’t know how else to say it. I don’t care if you call him the Pope of football in Dundalk, it doesn’t matter. He will be there to boss.”
Hulsizer, who has been criticised by supporters at times this season for alleged interference in on the field activities, said he would be taking a step back from day to day affairs once the new appointment was made having admitted that the current arrangement of PEAK6 trying to run things from America had its flaws.
“Whoever we choose they have to have business skills, football skills, football knowledge, football contacts, business contacts. We need somebody to run the club. I can’t do it from the US. We haven’t done a great job so far except qualifying for the Europa League.
“The new man’s job will be to run the club. There should be no daily communication between the board of directors and the people running the club in Ireland.
“It needs to be organised and it’s not. That will be his first mission.”
Magilton, who has managed Ipswich Town and Queens Park Rangers, has knowledge of the League of Ireland from his time as assistant to Michael O’Neill when Shamrock Rovers won the title in 2011.
However, Dundalk are expected to confirm the full-time of Italian Filippo Giovagnoli as manager later this week.
Hulsizer said: “He has been offered a contract.
“He is reviewing it but Filippo is Italian and English is not his first language. Irish law is complex and if the contract was in Italian he’d have probably signed it already but right now he’s trying to get it reviewed.
“I see him being the manager next year. We’re proceeding on that basis and trying to sign contracts and everything and hopefully we’ll get it done in the next week.”
Asked if the new Director of Football would be brought in to identify targets, Hulsizer said that would rest on the shoulders of Giovagnoli.
“That’s going to be Filippo’s job. He is the coach,” he said.
“Now I’d expect that person to help and oversee it because if Filippo has a weakness it might be in administration. Certainly, he’s not familiar with Irish peculiarities.
“All of the candidates have good football backgrounds so do I expect them to totally ignore the football side? No, I’d expect them to participate and help wherever they can. If you hire a boss, he’s the boss.”