The Scottish Football Association will step up their hunt for the next Scotland boss over the weekend and could yet turn to Derek McInnes.
Hampden chiefs have decided they cannot afford to wait any longer than Monday to identify the man they want to be Alex McLeish’s replacement.
The squad for next month’s crucial Euro 2020 qualifiers with Cyprus and Belgium is due to be announced on Tuesday, May 28, and the SFA wants to give the new man in charge at least a week to draw up his first selection.
It appeared Kilmarnock’s Steve Clarke had moved into pole position to land the role after Aberdeen vice-chairman Dave Cormack claimed Reds manager McInnes had told his current employers he would not be swapping the Granite City for the Hampden hot seat.
But Press Association Sport understands the governing body is still keen on the Pittodrie boss and McInnes may also, in fact, be open to the move.
Scotland Under-21 boss Scot Gemmill is the third man on a shortlist of potential candidates being considered.
Cormack told BBC Scotland: “Derek is very attracted to being Scotland manager at some stage, but not just now. That’s a big plus for us as a club.
“Whilst Derek himself aspires to be Scotland manager at some stage, Derek’s made the decision that that time is not now – that he wants to focus on club football.”
By pushing their decision back to Monday, the governing body appears to be giving Clarke and McInnes the time they need to complete this season’s duties with their clubs before making moves to hold talks.
Killie host Rangers at Rugby Park on Sunday while Aberdeen travel to Easter Road as the curtain comes down on the Ladbrokes Premiership campaign.
Former West Brom and Reading boss Clarke confirmed last month he had received no contact from Hampden chiefs about taking over as Scotland manager but did admit he would be interested in the position “at some stage”.
He added: “Whether it is now or not is a matter for you guys to talk about and speculate. I am fully focused on finishing the season well here at Kilmarnock.
“I don’t speculate, there is no point in doing that. I know how football works. I am fully focused on this job here.”