Fulham have rejected an approach from Blackburn to speak to first-team coach Billy McKinlay, according to reports.
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McKinlay, 43, has emerged as a shock contender for the role after the club were handed setbacks in their pursuit of Tottenham technical co-ordinator Tim Sherwood and Molde manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The former Scottish midfielder spent five seasons as a player at Ewood Park, joining the club the in October 1995, after they had won the Premier League title.
An ESPN source close to the recruitment process said: "Blackburn have contacted a couple of clubs. "They are hoping to speak with Billy McKinlay and also to Ian Holloway, and posssibily a third candidate.
"Blackburn are hoping to speak with McKinlay today, and the club are trying to arrange a meeting."
But Fulham refused to confirm that permission has been given for talks with McKinlay, but they did not deny it either.
A Fulham spokesperson told ESPN: "As of yesterday there had been no contact from Blackburn but our chief executive is away for a week so we shall wait to see if there is an up date."
McKinlay is not is not the only former Rovers player to be linked with replacing Steve Kean. Alan Shearer, Garry Flitcroft, Paul Dickov, Colin Hendry and Sherwood are names that have also been spoken about in regards to the vacancy.
Since Kean's departure Blackburn have drawn three league games and lost one. They currently sit tenth in the Championship table.