It’s been 21 days since Tranmere Rovers axed Mike Jackson, but their search for a new manager could now be on the verge of coming to an end after betting was surprisingly suspended on Paul Ince taking the job.
It’s fair to say that not too many people could have predicted this outcome three weeks ago.
After all, it’s approaching seven years since we last saw Ince in the dugout, at Blackpool.
Birkenhead-born former Tranmere Rovers goalkeeper Nigel Adkins was the original favourite to replace Jackson, but while he would have been a popular choice with the Tranmere faithful, as the days turned into weeks an appointment appeared increasingly unlikely.
Ince was briefly installed as the frontrunner for the post earlier in the month after he was spotted at Prenton Park. Danny Cowley then burst into the betting - to the excitement of supporters - while Paul Hurst and Sol Campbell have also featured, as has caretaker Ian Dawes who has done a remarkable job, having won all four of his matches at the helm.
However, Ince then became the odds-on favourite on Friday morning, before Bet Victor took the market down.
Ince's last job was at Blackpool (2013 to 2014). It was his sixth in management and followed spells at Notts County, MK Dons (x2), Blackburn and Macclesfield.
The former Man Utd and England midfielder did a creditable job in his first post at Macclesfield, with whom he revived after his appointment and kept in the Football League, before scooping the League Two title and EFL Trophy double at MK Dons, which earned him the job at Premier League Blackburn in 2008.
Is Paul Ince on the cusp of returning to management?
Ince lasted just 21 games at Rovers, returned for an underwhelming second spell at MK Dons, then failed to sparkle at Notts County (29 games) and Blackpool (42 games), and has since been working as a pundit.
Twitter - which is, of course, no way near gospel - has reacted to the Ince link, and many Tranmere fans aren’t best pleased...
Zak Hayes: We’ve got 3 home games in the next 7 days, all of which are winnable and important. Stating the obvious but they’ll want to keep the team focused so will stick with Dawes through that. Rather stay with him than appoint Paul Ince regardless.
Myles Faulkner: Could be the least popular managerial appointment by us if we announce Paul Ince as manager I can’t think of one fan that would be happy with this @TranmereRovers
The Rose and Crown: On a scale of 1 to Dave Watson, how unenthusiastic are you about this potential appointment? I can probably only think of 5 professional football managers I’d rather have less, and most of them have already had the job before.