Birmingham City star Troy Deeney shock favourite for EFL job as ex-Sunderland and Aston Villa man in contention

Troy Deeney is out of contract at Birmingham City this summer and has been made a shock contender for an EFL managerial position

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Birmingham City striker Troy Deeney has been made the odds-on favourite to take over at League Two side Walsall.

The Blues player is out of contract with the Championship club this summer although Birmingham do have the option to extend it for another season, while he has also been offered a new deal.

However, in a surprise twist to Walsall’s managerial search, Deeney is now the 4/5 favourite with the bookmakers.

Walsall sacked Michael Flynn last month after a 3-0 defeat at Harrogate Town, with Mat Sadler taking over until the end of the season as the club finished 16th in the fourth tier.

Deeney joined Birmingham in 2021 after leaving Watford but spent four seasons at Walsall as a player, making over 100 appearances for the club.

Speaking about his future, Deeney said in March: “There’s an [contract] offer there. I’m just figuring out how that looks.

“At this point it’s not about the money, it’s about like is there a coaching role. They want me to do coaching. Just feeding into it.

“But the project has to be right. It wasn’t everything that was sold at the start. Now I understand the dynamics of it, I’ve got to make a conscious decision to invest more time. It’s more time than money.

“Or do you go ‘thanks but no thanks’ and move on to pastures new and try and figure out other things. I’m in a fortunate position. I’m going to sound like an a******* but there are media obligations now, people want me to do shows and all these things are opening up.

“I still love football. Football is my driver. But I’m not stupid. It’s two-year slots, three-year slots, this is the time where you might have to figure that out. If we can come to some amicable arrangement then I’m sure I will be there next year, pushing just as hard.”

Last month, Kevin Phillips had emerged as the favourite to become the next manager of Walsall, just days after his shock departure from non-league side South Shields.

During his 15-month stint in charge in the north east, the ex-Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Sunderland and West Brom striker won the Northern Premier League Premier Division title and led South Shields into the first round of the FA Cup. However, he has moved down the odds in recent week.

Next Walsall manager odds (correct as of 7am, May 10)

Troy Deeney - 4/5

Mat Sadler - 5/2

Danny Cowley - 6/1

Kevin Phillips - 6/1

David Artell - 12/1

Graham Alexander - 16/1

Sol Campbell - 33/1

Michael Appleton - 33/1

Paul Tisdale - 33/1

Karl Robinson - 33/1

Robbie Fowler - 33/1

Lee Catermole - 33/1

Pete Wild - 33/1

Brian Barry Murphy - 33/1