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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 November 2005, 15:48 GMT
Sheff Utd considering Warnock bid
Portsmouth contenders Neil Warnock and Alex McLeish
Sheffield United are considering an approach from Portsmouth to speak to manager Neil Warnock.

Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric has named the Blades boss as his number one target to fill the vacant manager's post at Fratton Park.

Blades vice-chairman Terry Robinson said: "We're mulling over an approach Portsmouth have made for our manager.

"Discussions are on-going on how we will respond to that approach and at this stage there is no more I can say."

Warnock has guided the Blades to second place in the Championship but is out of contract in the summer.

The 56-year-old refused to comment on speculation linking him to Portsmouth on Tuesday, insisting he was only focused on Saturday's derby with Sheffield Wednesday.

The Blades board have an option to extend Warnock's contract, which ends in June, at the end of the season but so far have not offered to improve his terms.

Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric is confident he can persuade Warnock to quit his hometown club for Portsmouth.

The reason we didn't talk to Alex before was that we had information that he would rather stay at Rangers
Portsmouth chairman
Milan Mandaric

Mandaric told BBC Scotland: "Neil would be top choice and we are well in progress with him."

But he has also approached Rangers about opening talks with their manager Alex McLeish.

"I also rate Alex very highly and I would love to have the opportunity to speak to him," said the Fratton Park supremo.

Portsmouth have denied reports Mandaric also spoke to former manager Harry Redknapp about a possible return to the club.

Mandaric, who has seen eight managers come and go at Fratton Park, approached Rangers on Monday.

McLeish has endured a torrid domestic season at Ibrox, but could still take the Light Blues into the knock-out stage of the Champions League.

Mandaric said the uncertainty about McLeish's future had prevented him from making his move sooner.

"The reason we didn't talk to Alex before was that we had information that he would rather stay at Rangers," said Mandaric.

"But lately we realised that maybe we can make an effort to change his mind. We will see what happens in the next 24 to 48 hours."

United assistant boss Stuart McCall expects Warnock's future to be resolved this week.

"We'll know come Wednesday or Thursday the outcome of everything, so we'll wait and see," said the former Scotland international.

"Personally I'm experienced enough to get on with it and we'll be preparing as usual for Saturday's derby against Sheffield Wednesday."

Portsmouth manager Alain Perrin was sacked last Thursday after Pompey's poor start to the season.

Interview: Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric


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