From day one he was the obvious choice to succeed Tommy Wright and now Callum Davidson is all but certain to become the new manager of St Johnstone.
It has taken seven weeks since Wright’s shock departure from McDiarmid Park for a replacement to be appointed but a deal was struck today with Millwall, the current employers of the former Saints player and coach.
And, barring any last minute hitch, Davidson’s return to Perth should be officially confirmed tomorrow.
The club released a statement saying discussions on personal terms are “at an advanced stage”.
It would have taken a leftfield candidate of serious pedigree to give anybody a realistic shot of beating Davidson to the job but after the applications were whittled down from a long list to a short one, the 43-year-old’s CV still shone brightest.
The bookmakers stopped taking bets this morning and Davidson travelled back to Scotland from London to finalise the terms of contract.
A St Johnstone statement read: “The club can this evening confirm that an agreement has been reached with Millwall FC and we have been granted permission to discuss personal terms with Callum Davidson regarding the vacant managerial post at McDiarmid Park.
“Discussions with Callum are now at an advanced stage with a view to the 43-year-old taking over from current caretaker boss Alec Cleland.”
Millwall said: “Millwall Football Club can confirm that assistant manager Callum Davidson has been given permission to speak to Scottish club St Johnstone with a view to taking over as their new boss.
“The 43-year-old joined Millwall back in October 2019 as one of Gary Rowett’s new backroom staff but will now discuss terms on taking the reins at McDiarmid Park.
“Everyone at the club would like to thank Callum for his superb efforts throughout his time at Millwall and wish him well for the future.”
Davidson goes with the best wishes of Rowett who was among the many people in the game to describe the former Scotland international as the perfect fit for Saints – his first post as a head coach.
He will also be a hugely popular appointment with supporters.
Recently there was an online fans’ vote on who should take over from Wright and he won it convincingly.
Since Wright’s early May exit, Cleland has been at the helm along with head of football operations Kirsten Robertson.
Chairman Steve Brown had insisted he was in no rush to recruit a permanent replacement, with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic the immediate priority.
But with Millwall chasing a play-off spot when the action resumes down south – and the Perth squad returning for Covid-19 testing and then pre-season training next week – a managerial appointment has moved up Brown’s to-do list.
Davidson first left for Blackburn Rovers as a teenager in a club record £1.75 million deal, and went on to have a highly successful playing career in England.
On the coaching front, he has worked at Stoke City and Dunfermline, as well as Millwall and Saints.
He was also head-hunted by Gordon Strachan to assist him with the national team.