SYDNEY: Carl Robinson firmed as favourite to take over as coach of A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday after Newcastle Jets gave the Welshman permission to open discussions with the former Asian champions.
Wanderers announced the shock sacking of Jean-Paul de Marigny on Monday, just three months after he was appointed to the role on a permanent basis, and former Wales midfielder Robinson now looks set to replace him.
"Newcastle Jets can confirm that Western Sydney Wanderers have made an official approach for head coach, Carl Robinson," the cash-strapped 2008 A-League champions said in a statement.
"The club has granted permission for the two parties to enter discussions."
Robinson would become the Wanderers' fourth coach in three years since Tony Popovic resigned after taking the expansion club on a remarkable journey from foundation to Asian Champions League winners in two years.
Popovic also led Wanderers to three A-League championship finals in his five years in charge and although they lost them all, the early success helped make the club one of the best-supported in the Australian top flight.
Harder times have followed since his sudden departure with the club finishing seventh, eighth and ninth in the last three seasons under Spaniard Josep Gombau, German Markus Babbel and, briefly, de Marigny.
The club still has considerable potential, however, especially since they became tenants of the new 30,000-capacity Western Sydney Stadium, which replaced their previous home in Parramatta.
Robinson won 52 caps for Wales in a playing career which included spells at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sunderland and Norwich City before taking up coaching at the Vancouver Whitecaps in Major League Soccer.
The 44-year-old signed a 3 1/2 deal with the Jets in February and transformed the struggling team in his short spell in charge with a record of four wins, two draws and one loss in seven matches.
The 2020-21 A-League season is scheduled to kickoff in December.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Peter Rutherford)