Mansfield are considering an audacious attempt to lure former Wigan boss Paul Cook to Field Mill as their new manager, the PA news agency understands.
Stags director of football David Sharpe brought Cook to Wigan in 2017 during his spell as chairman at the DW Stadium and it is hoped that connection could see Mansfield pull off what would be a coup for the League Two club.
However, Cook's stock is high following his three-year stint with the Latics, where he won the League One title in 2018 and almost kept the club in the Championship last season against all odds.
Wigan looked set for another campaign in the Championship before a 12-point deduction for entering administration plunged them into relegation trouble.
However, Cook rallied his players and they took their fight for survival to the final day of the campaign but a 1-1 draw with Fulham saw them go down. A win would have seen the Latics stay up.
Cook's team lost only one of their last 15 Championship matches and such results, with limited resources, saw him become the subject of interest from both Birmingham and Bristol City this summer, following his resignation from financially troubled Wigan in August.
The 53-year-old was interviewed for the Bristol City job but they opted to appoint former assistant and caretaker boss Dean Holden.
Mansfield are looking for a new manager after sacking Graham Coughlan following a 4-2 home defeat to Barrow on Tuesday.
The Stags were one of the favourites for promotion before the season started but have yet to win a game and are 22nd in the table, with just five points from nine matches.
Cook is an ambitious target but he has managed in League Two before with Accrington, Chesterfield and Portsmouth, winning the title with the Spireites in 2014 and with Pompey in 2017.
He may be reluctant to drop back down to that level following his exploits in the Championship, while it remains to be seen whether Stags fans would welcome the idea of a manager who did so well at their bitter rivals Chesterfield.
Academy manager Richard Cooper has been placed in temporary charge of first-team affairs and will be in the dugout when Mansfield host Walsall on Saturday.