GRAEME Souness has emerged as a surprise contender in the frame for the vacant manager’s job at Wanderers.

Reports suggest the former Liverpool and Blackburn boss – who has been working as a TV pundit for the last six years – could fancy a return to management and has been spoken to by the club.

After initially distancing themselves from early favourite Mick McCarthy, it now appears the Whites have spoken to the former Republic of Ireland boss, who is also wanted by Burnley.

Those experienced campaigners now head the list of candidates after early first-choice Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed out of the opportunity to speak with Phil Gartside.

Interim management team Jimmy Phillips, Sammy Lee and Julian Darby will be given a chance to impress and should remain in charge at least for the next two games, against Bristol City and Wolves.

The club remain open to appointing a younger manager and it is understood they have also sussed out Portsmouth’s Michael Appleton and Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman.