Middlesbrough considering move for Lincoln boss Cowley

Middlesbrough are considering rivalling West Brom for Lincoln boss Danny Cowley, Press Association Sport understands.

Boro have Cowley on their list as they start their search for Tony Pulis’ replacement.

The Baggies are also keen on the Imps manager, who will cost £500,000 to release from his contract at Sincil Bank.

Albion are hunting a permanent manager after their Sky Bet Championship play-off defeat to Aston Villa on Tuesday, with Jimmy Shan having been in caretaker charge since March.

Press Association Sport understands Boro chairman Steve Gibson is now looking in a different direction in the hunt for a new manager and is considering a series of younger, ambitious candidates to take on a long-term project.

Cowley, along with assistant and brother Nick, has earned two promotions in three years, taking Lincoln from the National League to Sky Bet League One.

The Imps won League Two this season, while they also claimed the EFL Trophy in 2018 and became the first non-league club to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals in 103 years in 2017.

Gibson is prepared to assess his options, with first-team coach and former Real Madrid and England defender Jonathan Woodgate under consideration.

Former boss Aitor Karanka, who is available after parting company with Nottingham Forest in January, is not thought to be a serious contender.

The next manager will not have any parachute payments to work with after they ended this season.

Pulis, who was appointed in December 2017, was forced to cut his cloth accordingly with predecessor Garry Monk having spent heavily on Britt Assombalonga, Martin Braithwaite, Darren Randolph and Ashley Fletcher.

The Teessiders recouped around £40million by selling Ben Gibson to Burnley, Adama Traore to Wolves and Patrick Bamford to Leeds but Pulis received only a proportion of that.

He guided the club into fifth place and the play-offs in 2017-18 but could only managed a seventh-placed finish this term.

Disgruntled fans voiced their disapproval of Pulis’ brand of football as their promotion hopes disappeared after Boro lost six straight games in March and April.

Chairman Gibson said: “I’d like to thank Tony for his hard work and commitment over the past 18 months. He has been a joy to work with and a complete gentleman.

“I’m sorry to see Tony leave, but our friendship and my gratitude will remain. Tony and his family will always be welcome at Middlesbrough Football Club.”

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