Former Hull City and Preston North End boss Phil Brown emerges as early favourite to succeed Carl Fletcher
Plymouth Argyle are drawing up a shortlist of four or five candidates for the managerial vacancy at Home Park.
The Pilgrims' board of directors are set to consider the merits of the contenders in the next 24 hours.
It is understood that the former Derby County, Hull City and Preston North End manager Phil Brown will be on the list and is keen to explore the opportunity.
Argyle are thought to have received around 50 applications to become their manager after the sacking of Carl Fletcher following Tuesday's 2-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers.
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Director Colin Sexstone, who has considerable past experience in football from his 11 years as chief executive and later chairman at Bristol City, will lead the recruitment of a new boss.
There will be no appointment before Argyle's away game against second-placed Port Vale on Saturday.
Assistant manager Romain Larrieu and first-team coach Kevin Nancekivell will take caretaker charge.
It is hoped a successor to Fletcher will be unveiled before the Pilgrims play Morecambe at Home Park on January 12.
Former Argyle defender Keith Hill is the 2/1 favourite with BetVictor to replace Fletcher.
The 43-year-old, who played for the Pilgrims from 1992 to 1996, was sacked by Championship club Barnsley on Saturday.
Hill had been appointed by the Tykes in the summer of 2011 after four successful years at Rochdale, which culminated in leading them to promotion from League Two on a tight budget.
Bolton-based Brown has been out of management since he was sacked by Preston in December 2011.
The decision to dispense with his services was made by Peter Ridsdale, shortly after the former Argyle chairman of football took on the same role at the Lancashire club.
Brown, 53, has worked extensively in the media, on television and radio, since leaving Preston.
He was close to becoming the boss at League One outfit Hartlepool United in November until talks collapsed at the last minute.
Brown would have had Brian Horton, 63, as his assistant at Hartlepool and it is thought that will be the case should he be appointed by Argyle or anyone else.
Horton has been the manager of Hull, Oxford United, Manchester City, Huddersfield Town, Brighton and Hove Albion, Port Vale and Macclesfield Town.
Brown was the number two to Sam Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers before he had a short spell as the boss of Derby in 2006.
Later that year, he was appointed as the first-team coach at Hull and in January 2007 he took on the role of manager after a spell in caretaker charge.
Brown steered Hull to Championship safety that season and then led them to promotion to the Premier League in May 2008, beating Bristol City in the play-off final at Wembley.
Hull finished 17th in the top flight in 2008-09, escaping relegation, but they also struggled in the next campaign and Brown was relieved of his duties in March 2010.
He replaced Darren Ferguson as manager of Preston in January 2011, but could not prevent them from dropping out of the Championship.
One reliable source has claimed that Brown is interested in the vacancy at Argyle.
"He's a great coach and a nice bloke, too," said the source. "He's also very community-minded.
"He demands hard work and professionalism from everybody. And he doesn't try to put square pegs into round holes – he realises players' capabilities.
"His organisation is something which takes your breath away."
Former Torquay United manager and chief executive Colin Lee is the second favourite with BetVictor to take over at Argyle, at odds of 3/1.
Buckfastleigh-born Lee, 56, is the current number two to Keith Curle at League One outfit Notts County.
He has been linked with Argyle in the past when they have had managerial vacancies.
Former Northern Ireland international boss Lawrie Sanchez is a 10/1 shot with BetVictor, while Steve Cotterill, who was most recently at Championship club Nottingham Forest, is 12/1.
The proposed move of Burnley attacker Alex MacDonald to Argyle on a permanent transfer is now up in the air.
A verbal agreement had been struck with the 22-year-old, who had two loan spells with the Pilgrims in 2012, before Fletcher's dismissal.
MacDonald will have to wait until Argyle appoint their new manager before finding out whether the club will retain their interest in him.
Meanwhile, Argyle's transfer-listed captain and centre-back Darren Purse has paid his own tribute to Fletcher on twitter.
He said: "Wish the gaffer all the very best for the future. Deserves massive credit for his dedication as a player and a manager at #pafc."