Serie A legend emerges as shock candidate for Championship managerial job

Former Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta has expressed an interest in the managerial vacancy at Middlesbrough, report The Hartlepool Mail.

Boro's failure to qualify for the Championship play-offs this season led to Tony Pulis' departure last week.

Jonathan Woodgate, who had two spells at the Riverside Stadium as a player, is the favourite to succeed Pulis.

However, Batistuta has emerged as a shock contender after throwing his hat into the ring.

The former Roma and Fiorentina frontman hung up his boots in 2005 and is now plotting a move into management.

The 50-year-old has never coached before but he did have a spell as technical director of Argentinian outfit Colon in 2003.

Batistuta remains an outsider to get the job, though, with Michael Reiziger and Chris Hughton also thought to be in contention.

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