Sheffield Wednesday: Owls close on Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

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Sheffield Wednesday appear poised to appoint their first non-British head coach in the club’s 148-year history.

Carlos Carvalhal looks set to be unveiled inside the next few days after the Portuguese coach emerged as a shock contender to succeed Stuart Gray as Owls head coach on Friday, despite being a relative unknown in this country.

Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri

Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri

Reports in both Britain and Portugal suggest the head-coach role is now Carvalhal’s to refuse, barring any late hitches in negotiations.

The details of the former Sporting and Besiktas coach’s deal were to be thrashed out over the weekend, but it has been suggested in the Portuguese media that Carvalhal will be handed a one-year contract.

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The 49-year-old had been expected to take control of Pacos de Ferreira in his native Portgual on Friday.

But it is understood that the sudden availability of the Wednesday post brought on by Gray’s sacking changed matters and saw him approached.

Pacos have already moved onto to their next target, viewing Carvalhal as unavailable.

The chance to work in England was said to be a major draw for Carvalhal, who has not worked as a head coach for the last three years.

There have already been inevitable links with Portuguese players.

Portuguese media organisation Abola has reported the Owls have made an approach to Braga - one of Carvalhal’s former clubs - for centre-half Anibal Capela, a former Portugal Under-21 international.

Gray was sacked last week after the club’s new owner, Dejphon Chansiri, decided he wanted someone else at the helm.