Former Manchester United ace Nicky Butt the new bookmakers' favourite for the Preston North End manager's job

Former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt is the new bookies favourite for the Preston North End manager's job.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 25th March 2021, 2:34 pm

Butt, who had a glittering playing career with United before leaving to join Newcastle, returned to Old Trafford on the coaching staff in 2012.

However, on Wednesday it was announced the 46-year-old was leaving his role as United's head of first-team development to pursue a new challenge.

That led to a flurry of bets being placed on Butt being the next North End manager.

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Nicky Butt ahead of Manchester United's Premier League game against Newcastle at Old Trafford in February

On Thursday, he moved above Gareth Ainsworth as the new favourite for the job, Bet Victor having him at 1/2.

Wycombe boss Ainsworth had been the favourite pretty much since Alex Neil left office last Sunday.

North End are not looking to appoint a permanent manager or head coach until the summer, their immediate concern being to put enough points on the board in the next eight games to secure their Championship status.

Frankie McAvoy is interim head coach, with Steve Thompson, Paul Gallagher and Mike Pollitt working with him.

Nicky Butt during a Manchester United legends match

Butt, one of United's Class of 92, made 390 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils.

He won six Premier League titles, the Champions League in 1999, and the FA Cup three times.

In 2004 Butt signed for Newcastle and spent six seasons there - with a loan spell at Birmingham City in the 2005/06 campaign.

Butt returned to Old Trafford to coach the United reserves and later became their head of academy.

In recent years he has coached the Under-23s and in 2019 became head of first-team development.

The North End job is not the only position Butt been linked with in the short time since his United departure was announced.

There's talk of him linking up with Roy Keane if his former United team-mate was to get the Celtic manager's role.

Derby might consider having him working with Wayne Rooney, while Butt is part-owner of League Two side Salford City.

In the PNE betting, it is Butt top of the book with Ainsworth second at 4/1.

Former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has climbed to third favourite at 6/1, while St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson - who played for PNE for seven years - is fourth favourite with odds of 14/1. McAvoy is 16/1.

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