Ipswich Town: Manchester United coach Kieran McKenna set for Portman Road hot-seat

Ipswich's Town hunt for a new manager is coming to a close, with Manchester United coach Kieran McKenna set to become the new boss at Portman Road.

The 35-year-old has been heavily linked with the job and is expected to be confirmed in the role on Friday, before then watching from the stands as Ipswich take on Sunderland on Saturday.

The League One club have been searching for a replacement for Paul Cook since he was sacked on 4 December, with interim manager John McGreal having taken the reins since.

Cook's sacking came after a 0-0 draw with Barrow in the FA Cup, and Town went on to lose the replay 2-0 on Wednesday night, adding to the disillusionment of many fans.

McKenna was a member of Manchester United's coaching staff under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and was previously an under-18 coach at Tottenham Hotspur.

His own playing career was cut short by injury but he began coaching at the Spurs academy before rising through the coaching ranks with the youth teams.

Kieran McKenna, who appears set to take over at Ipswich Town, pictured with then-Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Credit: PA

The Ipswich Town job will be his first opportunity to lead a club and his task will be to improve the fortunes of a squad that had been expected to challenge for promotion back to the Championship, but which currently sits 12th in League One, nine points adrift of the play-off places.

McKenna will be the first managerial appointment made by the club's new owners, Gamechanger 20 Ltd, which bought the club in April.

Brett Johnson, the leader of the consortium, said at the time that it was "committed to restoring ITFC to its former glory".

"To this end, the first priority is promotion to the Championship and the management team will be given additional funds to strengthen the playing squad," he said.