MILLWALL have been given permission to open talks with St Johstone's Steve Lomas about becoming their next manager.
The Lions board earmarked the 39-year-old as the man to succeed Kenny Jackett at a board meeting on Monday after discounting former Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean, who was the strongest rival contender.
And Lomas' appointment at The Den looks set to be pushed through before the weekend.
Saints chairman Steve Brown, who had been away on holiday, flew into the UK on Wednesday for talks. But Lomas has just 12 months left on his contract at McDiarmid Park – and so compensation is likely to cost Millwall less than £100,000.
Brown said: "I have been contacted by Millwall and following discussions have given them consent to speak to Steve Lomas.
"Steve is an ambitious and talented manager and I am disappointed but not surprised that his progress has been monitored by other clubs.
"As with our previous two managers, we will not stand in the way of Steve if he agrees to join Millwall."
Chief executive Andy Ambler will be in Portugal tomorrow for the Football League's AGM but he is expected to return to London as soon as possible to conclude the deal.
Lomas would be seen as a controversial appointment by some fans given his strong connections with West Ham, who he captained for six seasons during an eight-year spell at Upton Park.
But he is regarded as one of the most promising young managers in the game after securing Europa League football for St Johnstone two campaigns running. Last season, he achieved the Perth club's best run of results since 1971 during a purple patch of form in the SPL.
If talks go smoothly, the former midfielder, who also played for Manchester City, QPR and Gillingham during his career, will pip Kean to the post.
It is thought Kean was overlooked because of his proficiency as a coach rather than a manager in his own right. The 45-year-old, who impressed during the interview stage, could now join Jose Mourinho's coaching staff at Chelsea.