Paul Jewell could accept a return to Wigan Athletic in the next 48 hours.
And chairman Dave Whelan said: "We will see what materialises but he was a brilliant manager for us and he is my first choice for the job if he wants to come back.
"There's obviously still a lot of talking to be done. I will also be taking a look at a list of applicants but Paul is naturally the top choice."
Whelan is expected to speak to Jewell over the weekend and it is likely he will be told the job is his if he wants it.