According to The Mirror, Nigel Pearson is stalling on a move to Aston Villa in the hope of landing the Middlesbrough job this summer.
Villa parted company with manager Remi Garde back in March, and interim boss Eric Black is taking charge until the end of what has been a dismal season.
With relegation to the Championship now confirmed, Villa need to make an appointment and start planning for the summer transfer window - but they may have hit a brick wall in their pursuit of one manager.
The Mirror report that, whilst Villa want to bring in former Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson, he is stalling on a decision - because he is keen on a return to Middlesbrough.
Pearson, 52, left Leicester City last summer and will be looking to return to management ahead of next summer, but whilst many expected him to take the Villa job, that now appears to be in doubt.
It's claimed that Pearson, who made more than 100 appearances for Middlesbrough as a player, is keen on a return to the Riverside Stadium despite Boro winning promotion to the Premier League under Aitor Karanka.
The report suggests that there is some doubt over Karanka's long-term future after a turbulent season, and if the Spaniard leaves this summer, Pearson fancies his chances of a return to Teesside.
That would be a huge blow for Villa, but with a takeover in the offing, they may yet manage to tempt Pearson to Villa Park as they attempt to fend off Boro.
Would you like to see Villa appoint Pearson?