Nottingham Forest owner and chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi has revealed that Steve Clarke, Malky Mackay and Gianfranco Zola are all on his shortlist of managerial candidates to replace Billy Davies.
The Reds are looking for a successor to Davies after his second spell in charge of the club was brought to an end on Monday in the wake of the 5-0 defeat to local rivals Derby.
Al Hasawi has experienced problems replacing the Scot with Neil Warnock and then Stuart Pearce turning down the opportunity.
Warnock rejected the Reds after claiming that he was unhappy with the conditions of the job while Pearce declined the invitation for personal reasons.
Given the trio now at the top of his wish list, further difficulties may lie ahead for the Kuwaiti.
Clarke is still on gardening leave after being sacked by West Brom while Mackay could face a court case with Cardiff owner Vincent Tan following the manner of his dismissal from the Welsh club.
''Steve Clarke, Malky Mackay and Gianfranco Zola are on the list, yes, but there are things I would like to mention because I have not spoken to them, I have spoken with their agents,'' Al Hasawi told Sky Sports News.
''Every single manager we wanted to take they say he is on gardening leave or he has some problem with his former club, or they say 'we don't want to do it right now, we want to do it in the summer'.
''Many managers want to start at the beginning of the season - most of them do. They don't like to start for the last eight games, and I want to give a longer contract. Zola is someone who wants to start in the summer.
''But I don't want to rush. I want to pick the right manager. We know what the fans want and what they don't want and what will make them happy, and if we are going to pick anybody I am sure they will be happy.''
Al Hasawi, assisted in his search by former European Cup-winning captain and recently-appointed club ambassador John McGovern, said via his Twitter account earlier on Thursday that is aiming to have a new manager in place by the end of next week.
''Hopefully by the end of next week we will have a new manager in place. I am working closely with John McGovern on a daily basis,'' he said.
''We don't want to rush into a decision. We have to get the right man and we are prepared to wait to achieve that.
''In the meantime we must all stay behind (interim manager) Gary Brazil. There are important games ahead and the play-offs are still within reach.''
Brazil, Forest's academy manager, is poised to take charge for the second successive game when the Reds attempted to get their Sky Bet Championship promotion challenge back on track at Ipswich on Saturday.
Brazil's first game saw the team lose 1-0 at home to Charlton on Tuesday night - a result which left the club seventh in the table and two points shy of a play-off spot.