A fresh face has appeared on Stoke City’s managerial radar, with Steve Clarke being linked with the vacant role at the bet365 Stadium.
According to reports from the Scottish Sun, the Scotland manager has been the subject of an “audacious bid” from the Potters, who are looking to make a swift appointment after getting rid of Nathan Jones last week.
Clarke has endured a tough start to life in charge of the Scottish national side, winning just two out of six games in charge against Cyprus and San Marino.
But the 56-year-old has enjoyed impressives tenures in charge of West Bromwich Albion and Kilmarnock, guiding the latter to third place in the SPFL table last term.
As well as guiding the Baggies to their highest-ever finish in the Premier League in 2013, he is a manager that has a eye-catching track record in club management.
Here, then, we take a look at two pros and two cons to Clarke taking over at the bet365…
Pro 1: Reputation
Clarke would arrive at the bet365 with a glowing reputation, especially after his time in charge of Killie last season.
He defied expectations and led them to a European spot come the end of the season, which is much better than any supporter was surely expecting.
He won the SFWA Manager of the Year award for two years running, beating the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Neil Lennon and Steven Gerrard to the accolade, which shows just how good of a job he has done in recent times in club football.
Pro 2: Experience
Having took charge of almost 200 games as a manager, and being assistant manager at Chelsea and Liverpool, Clarke clearly has a lot of experience under his belt.
This is something that could be beneficial for Stoke – he knows how to win games, organise a defence and pick up results by any means possible.
Former Schalke and Augsburg manager Markus Weinzierl has also been linked with the role, but whether he could adapt to life in the Championship is another question.
Clarke, meanwhile, is a proven boss who could be excellent for the Potters.
Con 1: Has the Scotland job affected him?
Clarke may have been impressive in charge of Kilmarnock, but is he on the way down as a manager given his slow start in charge of Scotland?
That is what most fans will be wondering. He has only managed to win two games in charge thus far, against two poor sides in Cyprus and San Marino.
There are other managers out there who could be head-hunted by Stoke who are already doing a magnificent job elsewhere.
Con 2: The Championship has changed since his last spell
Since his most recent spell in English football with Reading in 2015, the Championship has got a lot more competitive and teams are better and fitter than ever.
Their 2-0 loss to West Brom on Monday night showed the gulf in class and just how far off Stoke are away from competing with the best in the division.
This appointment would be somewhat of a risk, given that he hasn’t managed in England in over four years.
Would Clarke be a good signing for Stoke?