The chances of Colchester United head coach John McGreal becoming the new boss of League Two rivals Tranmere Rovers have reduced, according to the odds offered by a UK bookmaker.

Last week, McGreal had been as short as Evens with some bookmakers to take over in the Prenton Park managerial role, including Sky Bet, who made him the firm favourite. But the same company now regard him only as third favourite at 3/1 to take over from Micky Mellon, as speculation continues about McGreal’s future with the U’s.

Wigan Athletic coach Anthony Barry has now been installed as the new favourite at 6/4, with Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, who is now a free agent following his departure from his role as boss at  Brisbane Roar and who has also been linked with the job at Birmingham City position, is 13/8.

Other candidates included in the betting from Sky Bet are Tim Cahill at 10/1, Michael Jackson (14/1), Luis Milla (14/1), Alan Rogers (16/1) and Chris Greenacre (16/1). William Hill now have Robbie Fowler as their favourite, with McGreal second in the list, while some bookmakers still have  McGreal as favourite to take over at Tranmere but with Fowler as a close second.

The odds on McGreal taking the job have been drifting since Tranmere chairman Mark Palios stated that the club would not be rushed into making a new appointment. Speaking to the Tranmere website, Palios said that there was no specific time scale:

“We won’t be putting a deadline on it. Clearly we work as quickly as we can but we’re not rushing into a decision. When we have an answer, we’ll let the fans know as soon as possible.”

McGreal has well established links with the club, having made 200 appearances for Tranmere in his playing career, after coming through the Tranmere youth ranks. The 48-year-old has been in the hot seat at Colchester for a little over four years. He led the U’s to finish sixth in League Two this season, earning a place in the play-offs, while also guiding them to the quarter-finals of the League Cup, only the second time in their history that they had reached that stage.

He originally took over as Colchester head coach in May 2016, having been at Colchester since 2009 in their academy set-up, where he coached the likes of Sammie Szmodics, Frankie Kent and Tom Lapslie. He had previously done will with the club’s under-18s, leading them to a double in 2014.

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