Crawley Town are reportedly drawing closer to naming their new manager after successful talks with Bury boss Richie Barker. Last week Barker emerged as the hot new favourite in the Next Crawley Town Manager market, fuelling speculation that he was on the verge of replacing Sean O’Driscoll. Bookmakers’ have since suspended betting, with a deal expected to be concluded at some point this week.
Barker refused to comment on the link in the aftermath of Bury's 3-0 victory at Bradford on Saturday, which only intensified the rumours. If the 37-year-old was to depart then he would leave Bury managerless ahead of the rapidly approaching 2012/13 season. The Shakers welcome Middlesbrough at Gigg Lane on Saturday in the first round of the re-named Capital One Cup, before hosting Brentford on August 18th in their first League One match of the campaign. If Barker does leave for Crawley then the meeting between the two sides on October 13th will be one for the diary.
Barker was originally installed as Bury’s caretaker boss in April 2011 after Alan Knill suddenly departed for Scunthorpe. In June last year he was handed the job full time after leading the club to automatic promotion following six wins from his eight games in temporary charge. In his first season at the helm he went on to guide Bury to a 14th place finish in League One. Wrexham boss and former Bury player Andy Morrell is expected to be one of the favourites to succeed Barker.