BLACKBURN Rovers have interviewed Manchester United Under-21 boss Warren Joyce about taking over the vacant Ewood Park hotseat.

Rovers were granted permission by United to talk to the 51-year-old who has enjoyed great success in charge of the Old Trafford second string.


Joyce has led the Red Devils to three Under-21 Premier League titles in the past four years since taking sole charge in December 2010 following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The former Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End and Burnley midfielder has also been involved in a host of other reserve title wins since his arrival at United in May 2008.

But Joyce’s style of play and track record of bringing through players who have gone on to star in the Premier League and the Championship are also attributes that have caught Rovers’ eye.

Under the former Hull City and Royal Antwerp manager the Red Devils development side have produced a brand of attacking and vibrant football while a number of their youngsters have made the step up to first-team football.

Those players include teenage sensation Marcus Rashford, who has been named in the provisional England squad for Euro 2016, Danny Welbeck, Danny Drinkwater, and current and former Rovers stars Corry Evans, Michael Keane and Josh King.

Joyce, whose father Walter made 135 appearances for Rovers in the 1960s, is highly regarded at United.

But his position at the club is unclear following the departure of Louis van Gaal as manager.

Jose Mourinho will take over from van Gaal and is expected to bring in long-term assistant Rui Faria to be his number two.

That position is currently held by Red Devils legend Ryan Giggs who is said to be weighing up a new role with the club.

One report yesterday suggested that Giggs has been offered Joyce’s under-21 job while another stated he could be handed a position which would see him act as a go-between the development and first-team squads.

Joyce, who guided Hull City to Football League survival in 1999, is one of the bosses interviewed by Rovers, who are keen to retain the services of assistant manager Alan Irvine and first-team coach Rob Kelly.

But the final decision now rests with the club’s India-based owners Venky’s.

Neil Warnock, whose desire for only one year more in management could go against him, Russell Slade, Neil Redfearn, Alan Stubbs and Gareth Ainsworth are some of other names that were considered by the club before the interview process began.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Yesterday Wycombe Wanderers chairman Andrew Howard would not confirm or deny whether Rovers had approached Ainsworth, who comes from Blackburn and is a lifelong fan of his hometown club.

Howard said: “I have no comment to make on that. But whether with Wycombe Wanderers or in any career, people have the right to move on. We don’t have the right to stand in the way of anybody, from Gareth to the players to someone in the sales team.

“I have enjoyed working with Gareth for some years now and we are continuing to work hard to improve our situation. I can categorically say I would be more than happy if he is still in our dugout at the start of the new season.

“But any business has to be prepared for any one person leaving. If it’s not, then you’re not doing a proper job. From the top down, any one person leaving can have a major impact, but the club has survived or 129 years and will continue to do so.”