Leicester City have held talks with Dean Smith as they assess their options over appointing a new manager.
Smith had a summit meeting with chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha and Jon Rudkin, the director of football, to discuss Leicester’s relegation to the Championship and the club’s plans for the future.
While the former Aston Villa head coach was unable to prevent Leicester from dropping out of the Premier League, he has some support within the boardroom after two wins and three draws from his eight matches in charge.
Smith was asked for his views on how Leicester can mount a promotion challenge next season and it is understood talks were positive.
A week after relegation was confirmed, Leicester are now ready to initiate talks with candidates this week as they move to appoint the next permanent manager.
Aside from Smith, other contenders will be considered and Manchester City’s first-team coach Enzo Maresca has emerged as a potential target.
Maresca has earned a reputation at City as the next member of Pep Guardiola’s backroom staff who could become a No. 1 following Mikel Arteta’s move to Arsenal. Southampton wanted him earlier this year but he has been concentrating on City.
Leicester will have to wait for Maresca, 43, as he is a key part of City’s attempt to win the European Treble, with the final leg on Saturday in the Champions League final against Inter Milan.
Steven Gerrard, the former Rangers and Villa manager, is also in the frame after holding talks with Leicester in April before Smith’s appointment.
The seven players will be out of contract later this month, but negotiations are ongoing over a possible deal for Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans.
Leicester also have decisions to make on the likely transfer fees for James Maddison and Harvey Barnes, who will be sold this summer.
Maddison is a target for Tottenham and Newcastle, while Barnes is admired by Tottenham, Aston Villa and Newcastle.