Wrexham are facing what would be a massive blow to their Vanarama National League promotion hopes with manager Dean Keates being linked to the managerial vacancy at Walsall.
Keates was born in the West Midlands town and made well over 200 League appearances over two spells for his local club.
He has transformed Wrexham’s fortunes fortunes and the Dragons still pressing hard for promotion to the Football League.
Keates is the front-runner to be the next Walsall manager and could be appointed within 24 hours.
The Saddlers are without a fixture this weekend, while Wrexham are preparing for a crucial League match at Woking on Saturday.
Keates, 39, is from Beechdale, in Walsall, and would surely be tempted by the chance to go home.
He was appointed Wrexham manager in 2016 and has been revelation, firing up a promotion challenge and his team broke a club record in their last match against Chester City in the cross-border derby.
Keates’ men won 2-0, keeping their 20th clean sheet of the season.
They are fourth and in the thick of a promotion race with nine games to play.
It is thought Keates met with Walsall officials yesterday and is keen to take the job.
Keates has two years left on his contract at the Racecourse ground and Walsall would have to agree a compensation package with Wrexham to complete the deal, but that won’t make up for the loss of Keates.
He has jumped ahead of former Walsall player Adi Viveash in the chase to become manager and has been quoted at odds of 1/7 to be their next manager. Viveash is now 4/1.
Jon Whitney was the Walsall manager sacked on Monday after a 2-0 defeat against Shrewsbury Town, while Keates would be a hugely popular choice among the club’s supporters.
Losing Keates would be a major blow for Wrexham at a critical stage of their push for promotion.