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Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Monday, 5 January 2009

Clough 'top target for Derby job'

Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough
Clough has been in charge at Burton since 1998

Burton manager Nigel Clough heads a list of four candidates for the managerial vacancy at Championship side Derby, BBC Sport understands.

Rams caretaker boss Chris Hutchings, Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson and Wrexham boss Dean Saunders are also understood to be under consideration.

"Of course I'd be interested, it's a great opportunity, but it's just talk at the moment," Clough told Setanta.

Derby have contacted Burton about their interest in the 42-year-old.

Derby chairman Adam Pearson confirmed he has spoken to Burton counterpart Ben Robinson this week.

"We have had a discussion about Nigel, but I have had discussions with other chairmen as well, " he said.

Pearson has been keeping an eye on the progress of Clough who has been in charge at Burton for 10 years and whose side currently lead the Blue Square Premier by 13 points.

"He is one name in the frame, he ticks a lot of boxes," he said.

"Nigel has always been in our thoughts since we came here to be perfectly honest and obviously we would be a fool not to look at his credentials."

Brewers chairman Ben Robinson previously told BBC Radio Derby: "I don't want Nigel to go but I'm a realist.

"If he's asked to go to Derby or anywhere else and he wants to take it then he'll go with my blessing and my best wishes."

606: DEBATE

BBC 5 Live's Pat Murphy said an appointment at Pride Park is imminent.

"Pearson is looking for a calm, authoritative figure after recent turbulent seasons and is a known admirer of Clough," he said.

"Whether Clough would want the job is another matter. On the face of it he has the perfect role as a part-time manager close to his home.

"But Derby are not perturbed by Clough's lack of managerial experience at their level."

Hutchings has been in caretaker charge for one match, the 4-3 FA Cup victory over non-league Forest Green Rovers.

Ferguson's Peterborough won promotion last season and are currently fourth in League One, while former Rams striker Saunders took charge at Blue Square Premier side Wrexham in October and is also assistant manager of the Wales national team.

Although Wrexham chairman Geoff Moss says Saunders has given assurances that he will remain at the Welsh club.

Meanwhile, Pearson says he is treating a newspaper report of a potential hostile takeover by a Saudi Arabian family with disdain.

Pearson told BBC Radio Derby: "We've received no approach from a Saudi Arabian or any consortium.

"We'll be rebuffing any attempt to come in to destabilise the club with a hostile bid."

And Pearson denied reports ex-England boss Steve McClaren, now at Dutch club FC Twente, is to be the new manager.

Pearson added: "We're very happy with the present shareholding.

"It's a disappointing season but we intend to turn that around as quickly as possible and I think the club is making progress."

Manager Paul Jewell left Derby on 28 December after a 1-0 home defeat by Ipswich.

The Rams are five points above the drop zone in the Championship.

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see also
Saunders 'sticking with Wrexham'
05 Jan 09 |  Wrexham
Forest Green 3-4 Derby
03 Jan 09 |  FA Cup
Burton would allow Clough to go
02 Jan 09 |  Burton


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