By 90Min
May 22, 2019

The clock is ticking for Championship teams. 

For Aston Villa and Derby County time is counting down at painstakingly slow pace before they convene at Wembley for the playoff final.

For the 22 other teams, an agonisingly long summer of scouring over gossip columns and going through fan forums lies ahead, as they look to fill the void left by a lack of competitive football action.

To help those fans along, let's take a look at the news which could shape another crazy season of Championship football...


Batistuta & Jokanovic Eye Up Middlesbrough Job (Yes, Really)

NORBERTO DUARTE/GettyImages

Middlesbrough could complete one of the craziest managerial transitions that English football has ever seen following the departure of Tony Pulis.

ESPN have confirmed Gabriel Batistuta would consider taking over at the Riverside, should they make an approach. However, the Argentina legend may have competition from former Fulham man Slavisa Jokanovic, who Sky Sports report is due for an interview over the vacancy. 

Championship fans will no doubt hope 'Batigol' is given a shot, as his energy and combative qualities would only add to the hectic, unpredictable nature of England's second tier.

In contrast to the unknown quantity that is Batistuta, TalkSPORT have revealed that Boro are also looking at Aston Villa assistant John Terry as a potential successor to Pulis. Whatever is going on at that club, it looks fun and we want more of it!


West Brom Line Up the Cowley Brothers

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The highly sought-after Cowley brothers are being pursued by yet another Championship club - this time in the shape of West Brom

Having taken Lincoln City from the National League to League One in three seasons, Danny Cowley with his assistant and brother Nicky have already been on the radar of clubs such as Norwich City, Ipswich and Nottingham Forest.

And now it looks as though the Imps' resolve will be tested once again, as Daily Mail report that the Baggies have opened talks with Danny over the position at The Hawthorns. After a play-off semi-final knockout at the hands of rivals Villa, the Cowley brothers would be tasked with taking West Brom up to the Premier League at the first attempt.

In an effort to quell the rumours, Lincoln have released a statement on the club's website to deny any contact has been made with their managerial duo, as they insist the pair remain solely focused on the upcoming League One campaign.


Frank Lampard to Take Over at Chelsea?

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Derby County, or 'Frank Lampard's Derby' as they are more commonly referred, have excelled under the stewardship of the Chelsea legend, and find themselves in the play-off final in his first season in charge.

But just as the Rams have hope of returning to the Premier League, could they be about to lose the man who might take them there? That's what one news outlet is suggesting anyway.

Daily Mail report that Blues boss Maurizio Sarri is the 'big favourite' for the soon-to-be-vacated Juventus job and his spot at Stamford Bridge could be filled by none other than Frank Lampard.

The Derby boss made over 400 appearances for them as a player and, were he to take over as manager, would hope to add to his cult status at the club.


Robins Tie Johnson Down to New Deal

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Bristol City have reportedly tied their manager Lee Johnson down to a new four-year deal amidst growing interest in the 37-year-old's services from rival clubs.

The Robins boss led the club to the League Cup semi-final in his first full season and followed that up with an eighth-place finish in this campaign. City fans will be hoping that as long as they keep hold of Johnson, they can force their way into the Premier League for the very first time.

Football Insider sparked a huge sigh of relief in the south west of England, as they confirmed the manager has signed a new deal to take him to 2023. This should be enough to fend off interest for the time being at least, but another successful season will only see the demand for the former Barnsley man intensify.


Swansea's Ollie McBurnie Is a Wanted Man

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After an emphatic season in the Championship, Swansea City striker Ollie McBurnie is topping the transfer lists of a number of Premier League teams.

It seems the Leeds-born forward could be set to follow in the footsteps of Graham Potter and swap the south coast of Wales for that of England, and make the move to the Amex Stadium. The Star report that Sheffield United were leading the race to sign the 22-year-old, but may lose out on his signature, as Brighton look to add some firepower to their attack.

McBurnie has scored 22 goals in the Championship in the 2018/19 campaign and the cash-strapped Swans may have no choice but to sell their star man. The Blades will hope the opportunity to return to his Yorkshire roots will be enough to persuade the young striker to make the move to Bramall Lane.


Jack Clarke to Swap Leeds for London

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Jack Clarke has burst onto the scene this season, as the 18-year-old has been introduced to the Leeds first team under Marcelo Bielsa. The York-born youngster has been flying on the wing for the Whites this season and so nearly earned his side automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Unfortunately for the teenager, a playoff semi-final was as far as this season went, and he now finds himself with some Premier League interest to contend with.

Daily Star report that Leeds are preparing themselves for the approaches of Tottenham Hotspur, who are believed to be lining up a £10m bid. Arsenal and Newcastle have also shown interest in the midfielder, but are yet to make a move.

If play-off defeat wasn't enough, Whites supporters will have a long summer ahead of them, as the interest in their academy product is not likely to die down any time soon.

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