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Cook on course for St Johnstone

SLIGO ROVERS may have to find a new manager for next season as current boss Paul Cook appears to be on his way to SPL side St Johnstone.

The Saints are in the hunt for a new boss as Derek McInnes has left the club to manage Bristol City, but the knock-on effect is that Cook now has a very good chance of landing the post.

It's thought that McInnes himself recommended Cook for the post.

Cook is the longest-serving manager in the League of Ireland, having taken over at Sligo in 2007 and in that time he's led the Bit O'Red to wins in the FAI Cup and League Cup. This season he's guaranteed them a top-two finish in the league -- Sligo of course still have a mathematical chance of winning the league title but only if Shamrock Rovers lose away to UCD tonight -- and a place in the FAI Cup final next month.

Cook will become the first LOI manager to try his luck abroad since Stephen Kenny had a 13-month spell at Dunfermline, but Sligo have a good track record in producing coaches -- Steve Cotterill, Lawrie Sanchez and Willie McStay all began their managing careers at the Showgrounds.

Rovers have given St Johnstone permission to speak to Cook and it's thought that compensation -- which prevented Pat Fenlon from moving to Dundee United from Bohemians back in 2010 -- will not be a stumbling block.

St Johnstone may try to seal a deal in the next 24 hours which would see Cook taking over just after the FAI Cup final on November 6.

The Saints are in action against Aberdeen just 24 hours after the Cup decider and that may be too soon for Cook to take charge of the team.

So his first game could be a far more challenging affair -- away to Rangers on November 19.