Ufuk Talay has emerged as Sydney FC's prime target after Steve Corica was sacked less than a month after guiding the Sky Blues to victory in the Australia Cup.
Corica, who served as player, captain and head coach over a 19-year association with the club, was relieved of his duties on Tuesday, with Sydney having registered their worst-ever start to an A-League Men season.
They have yet to win a game and are bottom of the table without a goal to their name after three matches.
"The Sydney FC board has made the decision to move in a new direction," chairman Scott Barlow said in a statement.
"Steve is a legend of our club and has made an incredible contribution as both a player and coach over our 19-year history.
"He is a true gentleman who has always put Sydney FC first and I would like to personally thank him for all he has done."
Assistant David Zdrilic took charge of first-team training on Tuesday but there is a strong chance Talay could be in the dugout for Saturday's trip to Adelaide.
Sources indicated the former Wellington Phoenix mentor's representatives had already been in contact with the club he served as a player and assistant coach.
If successful, Talay is expected to step back from his duties as assistant to Socceroos boss Graham Arnold ahead of this month's World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh and Palestine.
Talay has been out of a head coaching role since missing out on the New Zealand job and leaving Wellington earlier this year.
At the Phoenix, the 47-year-old showed an ability to work under a tight budget and earned plaudits for his shrewd overseas recruitment.
He would face a raft of problems Corica was unable to solve at Sydney FC, including filling the leadership void left by the retirement of club great Alex Wilkinson and replacing the goals of departed star striker Adam Le Fondre.
Defender Jack Rodwell remains sidelined with injury while Brazilian off-season recruits Gabriel Lacerda and Fabio Gomes have looked off the pace so far.
The club has also sought to cut expenditure and rely on their academy but their young players have struggled with the adjustment to senior football.
Sydney suffered defeats to Melbourne Victory, Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City through the first three rounds and face the Western Sydney Wanderers after Saturday's visit to Adelaide.
Club bosses are also concerned about the retention of homegrown talent.
Marco Tilio, Cammy Devlin, and Calem Nieuwenhof all came through Sydney's academy during the Corica era but moved on and thrived at rival ALM sides before earning moves to Europe.
Rising Macarthur star Jake Hollman is another who has slipped through Sydney's grasp in recent times.
Corica, who replaced Arnold at Sydney in 2018, is the second coaching casualty of the season. Melbourne City axed Rado Vidosic last week.
The 50-year-old won grand finals in 2019 and 2020 but the last two seasons have been some of the most challenging in Sydney's history.
The Sky Blues missed the finals in the 2021-22 campaign and looked to be heading for the exit midway through last year before an unlikely late run ended with a semi-final loss to Melbourne City.
"It is very difficult to depart Sydney FC after being here for such a long time but I leave with unbelievable memories," Corica said.
"I could never have imagined that when I set foot into this brand new club in 2005, I would go on to spend the next 19 years of my life here.
"I will always look back on my time with Sydney FC with incredible fondness."