Wolverhampton Wanderers are expected to fiercely resist any attempt to lure away their manager Glenn Hoddle by his former club Southampton.
Along with Dennis Wise, Hoddle's name has emerged on a very short list of candidates to replace Portsmouth-bound Harry Redknapp at St Mary's.
Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey last night flatly dismissed any such talk, referring to a barrage of Sunday tabloid headlines as "just speculation".
But, while Moxey might wonder why on earth Hoddle would consider a return to Saints now when he is supposedly happy at Molineux, reports from the South Coast indicate that the next few weeks might not necessarily pan out as he hopes.
This is the third time that Hoddle has been linked with a return to Southampton, since walking out to return to his first love Tottenham Hotspur in March 2001. But, in the realisation that he is one of the few coaches in this country with a far-sighted enough approach to consider working with Sir Clive Woodward at St Mary's, this could be Saints' best chance of getting him back.
For that initial act of betrayal, Hoddle became vilified by many Saints fans, a continued backlash of ill feeling on the terraces which has twice stopped plans to lure him back, most recently in September 2004. But the Southampton board have publicly admitted regret that they did not re-appoint Hoddle. And, compared with the South Coast furore currently being caused by Redknapp's imminent return to Fratton Park, Hoddle returning to St Mary's would barely cause a ripple in the Solent.
Hoddle, who still lives near Reading, half as close to Southampton as Wolverhampton, has hardly yet become exactly a revered figure in his year commuting back and forth to the Black Country.
That is largely down to the fact that, although Wolves now lie ninth in the Championship, eight places higher than when he came last December 7, they have drawn 25 of his 46 league games.
Admittedly, compared to his predecessor Dave Jones' £27 million, four-year spending spree, Hoddle has so far spent little.
Wolves are at least protected by the one-year rolling contract he signed when his initial deal ran out in May. if he does go, Wolves will be entitled to compensation.
But, having met his precise demands to finish off their long- awaited £3.3 million Compton Park training ground, with its Premiership standard facilities, the club's thinking is why would Hoddle want to go now when he appears within touching distance of achieving something tangible?