MIDDLESBROUGH should confirm who their next manager is within the next 48 hours - and the new boss could have former coach Leo Percovich working with him.

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has been assessing the credentials of the candidature for the post, having had a long list of names to work through since deciding Tony Pulis was not staying on May 17.

That was almost four weeks ago so there has clearly been no rush to appoint a successor, although Jonathan Woodgate’s name has remained firmly in the frame ever since.

The 39-year-old is known to have impressed the Middlesbrough decision makers with his outlook and vision to take on his first managerial job and he has the respect of the staff he will inherit at Rockliffe Park.

Gibson was expected to reveal his decision by the end of this week and there have been further discussions aimed at achieving that since the weekend.

Now it looks sure to be Woodgate that will be the man holding the reins and there have been detailed discussions about who will form part of the backroom set-up.

Former Middlesbrough goalkeeper coach Percovich is one name firmly in the frame. He was due in the North-East for talks with the club aimed at joining a new-look coaching team after flying in from South America.

The Uruguayan is likely to be asked if he fancies the goalkeeper coaching role again.

It remains to be seen whether Percovich will accept the post, but his mere presence suggests he is keen on a return having been working in Brazil with Fluminese as a No 2 - provided it is financially right too.

The South American had four years on the backroom team under Aitor Karanka and Middlesbrough are looking to bring in fresh faces following the departures of Jonathan Gould, Curtis Fleming and Pulis, among others.

Percovich left Middlesbrough when Garry Monk was appointed in summer of 2017, but he is someone who has remained close to the club's heart and is well liked by Middlesbrough fans.

Another name flying around in the last few days has been former Middlesbrough coach Steve Round, who left with Steve McClaren in 2006, and he has been listed with the bookmakers for some time. He could well form part of the new-look set-up.

Middlesbrough have made sufficient progress in their search for a manager to make an appointment - and it is hoped that things can be tied up within the next couple of days.

Woodgate has been the clear front-runner for the post for weeks and he will play a key part in helping to take the club forward into a new era with the right men around him.

Middlesbrough have been looking to freshen things up since deciding not to keep Pulis.

A number of coaches have left and the idea is that the new managerial team can help the club develop an identity in the way that it plays football.

Former Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic is known to be one of those who has caught the eye of Middlesbrough chairman Gibson, although the financial implications surrounding such an appointment made it difficult.

Liam Rosenior, Nigel Adkins and Jorge Simao have also been heavily linked with the job in the last week, but Woodgate has never gone away.

The former Leeds United defender has dreamed of stepping into management after ending his playing career. He has worked as an academy coach and first team coach during his time at the Riverside and Pulis always spoke highly of him, having worked with him at Stoke as well as on Teesside.