Iain Dowie and Mark Hughes top shortlist for Hull job
Hughes was replaced at Manchester City by Roberto Mancini
Iain Dowie and Mark Hughes are top of the shortlist for the vacant Hull City managerial post, BBC Sport understands.
Former QPR boss Dowie, 45, had talks with Hull on Monday, with club chairman Adam Pearson set to name Phil Brown's successor by Thursday.
Portsmouth, meanwhile, have said reports that manager Avram Grant is in talks with Hull are nonsense.
Pompey said Grant was contacted by Hull representatives but the Israeli said he was not interested in the job.
Pearson hinted that there were a few managers who he was still tracking but it is not sure whether Grant was one of these.
"There are a few names that we're talking to who the press haven't picked up on yet and it's always nice to have a couple of secret ones tucked away," he said.
Pearson, who relieved Brown of his duties on Monday and put him on gardening leave, told BBC Radio Humberside his choice will be selected from a shortlist of "about five".
Dowie, who briefly worked as a coach at Newcastle last season, was axed as QPR boss in 2008 after only 15 games.
Ex-Wales manager Hughes, 46, has been out of work since he was sacked by Manchester City in December.
Hughes has also managed Blackburn but was sacked after 18 months in charge of City, despite having lost only twice in the league all season before his departure.
On Monday, Pearson said former Charlton and West Ham boss Alan Curbishley was not in the running to become the club's new manager.
However, Pearson would not confirm whether former Bolton and West Bromwich Albion boss Gary Megson, who was the early bookmakers' favourite, was in the running.
"We will not leave any stone unturned," said Pearson.
"We will do it very promptly, efficiently and quickly. If it's Thursday morning when they start work, so be it, but we will have a new manager by Thursday morning."
Curbishley has been out of the sport since leaving West Ham in September 2008 and had been linked with the job at the KC Stadium.
But Pearson - who firmly denied he had already offered the job to one of the candidates - suggested he was looking at a short-term appointment, with his sights set on someone who could be appointed "for a nine-game period".
Of Curbishley, Pearson added: "I wouldn't think that he will be someone we're pursuing.
"Alan's a fantastic manager but it needs to be someone we can get in for a nine-game period and he's not on that list."
Brown, who led the Tigers into the top flight for the first time in their history in 2008, leave the club second from bottom in the Premier League and three points adrift of safety, with nine games left to play.
Paul Jewell, Gareth Southgate and Steve Coppell have also been linked to the vacancy.
Despite Megson's unpopularity with fans of his last club, Bolton, his CV could well appeal to Pearson.
The former Sheffield Wednesday player defied the odds to secure the Trotters' Premier League status in 2008 and was at the helm when West Bromwich Albion were promoted to the top flight in 2001 and 2004.
Hull's next game is against bottom-of-the-table Portsmouth on Saturday.
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