THE odds on Colchester United head coach John McGreal taking over at their League Two rivals Tranmere Rovers have drifted, according to a leading bookmaker.

McGreal had been as short as 1/1 on Tuesday to take over in the Prenton Park hot seat and had been installed as firm favourite by Sky Bet.

But they now regard him as third favourite at 3/1 to succeed Micky Mellon, as speculation continues to circulate around McGreal’s U’s future.

Wigan Athletic coach Anthony Barry is now favourite at 6/4, with Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, who is a free agent after leaving his position with Brisbane Roar and has also been linked with the vacant Birmingham City position, second at 13/8.

Other candidates listed by Sky Bet are Tim Cahill (10/1), Michael Jackson (14/1), Luis Milla (14/1), Alan Rogers (16/1) and Chris Greenacre (16/1).

William Hill now list Robbie Fowler as their favourite at 6/4, with McGreal second (5/2) - the odds can be found here

Other bookmakers currently still list McGreal as favourite to take charge at Tranmere but list Fowler as a close second.

The odds on McGreal taking over at Tranmere have drifted since the Wirral-based club’s chairman Mark Palios stated that they would not be rushed into appointing a new manager.

Palios told the Tranmere website: "We won't be putting a deadline on it.

"Clearly we work as quickly as we can but we're not rushing into a decision.

"When we have an answer, we'll let the fans know as soon as possible."

McGreal made more than 200 appearances for Tranmere as a player between 1990 and 1999, after progressing through the youth ranks.

The 48-year-old has been in charge of Colchester for just over four years, presiding over more than 200 matches.

He led the U's to a sixth-place finish in League Two this season resulting in them reaching the play-offs.

They also made the Carabao Cup quarter-finals for only the second time in the club’s history.

McGreal took over as Colchester head coach in May 2016, having worked at Colchester since 2009 in their academy set-up coaching the likes of Sammie Szmodics, Frankie Kent and Tom Lapslie, prior to landing the top job.

The former Ipswich Town defender previously had success with the club’s under-18s, leading them to a league and cup double in 2014.