Walsall's Richard O'Kelly in talks to become new Bristol City assistant coach
Bristol City have approached Walsall's Richard O'Kelly as they step-up their search for a coach to assist new boss Sean O'Driscoll.
As revealed in The Post last week, former Saddlers striker O'Kelly is O'Driscoll's preferred choice and the two clubs were today in discussions regarding the future of the 56-year-old.
City asked permission to speak to O'Kelly last night and hope to have him on board within the next 24 hours.
O'Kelly signed a one-year contract with the Saddlers last June and the clubs are currently thrashing out a compensation package.
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Walsall manager Dean Smith wants his right-hand man to stay, but O'Kelly is understood to be keen to revive his partnership with Wolverhampton-born O'Driscoll, who previously worked with him at AFC Bournemouth and Doncaster Rovers.
A source in the West Midlands told The Post: "Richard has a straightforward choice. Does he continue to work on a project begun eight months ago at the Banks's Stadium or take the chance to move up a division and work with Sean O'Driscoll again?
"Walsall do not want to lose him, but the feeling up here is that things will now move quickly and a deal could be done for Richard to go to Bristol City in the next 24 to 48 hours."
O'Kelly is based in Sutton Coldfield and is prepared to commute from the Midlands to Bristol. Providing the clubs can strike a deal satisfactory to both parties, O'Kelly will be in place before City host Ipswich Town in the npower Championship on Saturday.