Shaun Maloney in pole position for Dundee job as Jack Ross drops out of the running

Dundee are poised to turn to Shaun Maloney as they bid to return to the Premiership at the first attempt.

It’s understood Jack Ross is no longer in contention to take the Dens Park post after the two former Hibs managers were left as the final candidates on the Dundee shortlist.

It is not the first time Dundee have attempted to land Ross. He was strongly linked with the vacant manager’s position at Dens Park five years ago but a deal broke down.

The 45-year-old, who used to support Dundee as a boy, is understood to have two other job opportunities at home and abroad.

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If Dundee appoint Maloney, it will mean the former winger reuniting with Gordon Strachan. Maloney played under Strachan for both Celtic and Scotland.

Strachan is now technical director at Dens Park but has agreed to take on a more hands-on role following the club’s relegation to the Championship. Strachan was instrumental in the decision to replace James McPake with Mark McGhee in February. The side duly slipped from 11th to 12th while winning only one game under McGhee.

There is pressure to appoint the right man this time around. Ross was a popular choice among Dundee supporters and not only because of his Dens Park connection. Ross, who was also a youth player at Dundee in the early 1990s, has since established himself as a well-regarded manager.

Former Belgium No 2 Maloney, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back after a torrid first experience of management at Hibs last season. He lasted just 120 days after replacing Ross, who was sacked shortly before a League Cup final against Celtic.

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Former Hibs manager Shaun Maloney is the frontrunner for the Dundee job. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

Maloney was axed after being beaten twice in a row by Hearts and with Hibs having failed to secure a top six spot.

Dundee will hope that the 39-year-old Maloney’s promise as a coach can be realised at Dens Park.

They will start the season strong favourites in the Championship as they attempt to return to the top flight at the earliest opportunity.

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Dundee parted company with club captain Charlie Adam over the weekend along with other first-team players including Liam Fontaine, Danny Mullen and Declan McDaid.

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