Roy Hodgson and Louis van Gaal will be the first two managers to be approached by Liverpool king-maker Kenny Dalglish.
A meeting at Anfield yesterday between the Reds’ legend and managing director Christian Purslow has outlined a shortlist of potential candidates to replace Rafa Benitez.
And the overwhelming front-runners on that list are Fulham boss Hodgson and Champions League finalist van Gaal, who enjoyed a successful campaign with Bayern Munich this season.
Dalglish will make discreet approaches to both men and then put together a package to tempt one of them to Anfield.
The Liverpool board feels there is no need to rush, given that the World Cup will dominate the next month and few players will be available until after the tournament.
But Dalglish and Purslow have decided that Hodgson and van Gaal have the perfect qualities to take the club forward after a poor season.
Fulham would mount a fight to stop Hodgson moving to Anfield. He was rewarded with a new rolling contract earlier this season which would cost Liverpool about £2.5million in compensation.
Hodgson’s wife Sheila is from Liverpool and the couple enjoyed living in the north-west while he was boss of Blackburn.