Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy has been given permission to talk to Second Division Stockport County about taking over the vacant manager’s position at Edgeley Park.
Reports suggested McIlroy was poised to quit as national boss but the Irish Football Association would not confirm his departure tonight.
The struggling Hatters dismissed Carlton Palmer on September 19 with John Hollins taking over on a caretaker basis soon after.
McIlroy’s side endured a miserable Euro 2004 qualifying campaign, failing to score a single goal in their eight matches, part of a 1,242-minute barren run.
They were beaten 1-0 in Greece in their final qualifying match last Saturday.
Former Manchester United player McIlroy took charge of Northern Ireland following the departure of Brian Hamilton in 1999.
He made his name as a manager by steering Macclesfield from the Conference to the Second Division but his Northern Ireland side won just five of his 29 games in charge.