Stoke City target Gary Rowett for vacant manager’s position

• Derby County manager is highly regarded by Stoke hierarchy
• Stoke parted company with Paul Lambert following relegation

Stoke City are moving towards making an official approach for Gary Rowett, who has emerged as the leading candidate to take over as their new manager. Rowett is currently in charge of Derby County and only signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract with the club in January amid interest from Stoke, yet his future at Pride Park is now hanging in the balance again.

Rowett is highly regarded at Stoke and was a strong contender for the job four months ago, after Mark Hughes was sacked. Stoke, however, were left frustrated on that occasion and ended up turning to Paul Lambert, who was unable to steer the club away from relegation, winning only two of his 15 matches in charge and prompting the Stoke board to decide to part company with him on Friday.

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