STEVE GIBSON is still weighing up who will be Middlesbrough’s next head coach after speaking with the main contenders for the job.

Gibson has not felt the need to rush into an appointment because there is still a few weeks before the players are due to return for pre-season training towards the end of the month.

But the Middlesbrough chairman hopes to have made up his mind by the end of this week, with former Leeds United boss Garry Monk and former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson two of the main contenders.

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A report from a West Yorkshire media outlet over the weekend suggested Monk was set to be appointed on Monday, with ex-Blackburn and Southampton striker James Beattie as his No 2.

While that managerial combination could still be what Gibson opts for, The Northern Echo understands no decision has been made at this stage.

Steve Agnew, who was handed the reins for the final 11 matches of the season, remains an option too because there is sympathy from within the boardroom for the situation and poor dressing room ambience he inherited.

Gibson has spoken to both Monk and Pearson about taking on the role to hear how they would attack the Championship as he looks to ensure Middlesbrough make a quick return to the Premier League following relegation.

The club’s former Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli has thrown his own hat into the ring for the job, while suggesting there has been no contact from Gibson at this stage.

Ravanelli believes he is the man to lead what a club he believes has the potential to be an established Premier League side again.

"I was very disappointed to see Middlesbrough relegated, for the club, for the fans, for everybody," Ravanelli said. "But now it is important to start again. The club must show a lot of ambition because Middlesbrough has the potential to finish in the top ten of the Premier League.

"I would love the opportunity to arrive for me to get the manager's job at Middlesbrough. If Steve Gibson called me, no problem. That would be good. The Championship is a good league with a lot of quality teams."

Ravanelli scored 33 goals in 52 games as Middlesbrough reached the League Cup and FA Cup finals at Wembley after arriving from Juventus in 1996. The club's relegation from the top flight saw him join Marseille the following year.

"Middlesbrough is in my heart every day," Ravanelli said. "It was a great experience in England, especially as I was one of the first Italians to play in the Premier League.

"I love the Middlesbrough fans, they are fantastic, and I hope one day it is special for me there again."

Ravanelli has already taken his steps into management. After starting his coaching career with Juventus youth team, he left Juventus in 2013 to take over at France’s Ajaccio, but he lasted only five months and was sacked with the Corsican club second from bottom in Ligue 1.

"I had to leave early, but I enjoyed my experience in Ajaccio," Ravanelli said. "I want to start coaching again and I don't want the mistake of making the wrong choice. This is the start of a new career for me and I hope to have the possibility in July before the new season. So why not Middlesbrough?"