Watford have approached Roy Hodgson to find out whether he is open to replacing sacked Claudio Ranieri.
The 74-year-old left Crystal Palace at the end of last season and has been contemplating whether to return to the game.
He is understood to have been contacted by the Hornets, who want to ascertain whether he would open to leading their relegation charge, on Monday.
There is no indication yet that Hodgson is the front runner for the job.
The club are said to be exploring other candidates, ideally ones out of work.
Watford aren’t ruling out appointing a British coach.
Ranieri, who leaves the club sitting 19th in the Premier League, managed to take just seven points from his time in charge at Vicarage Road.
Sportsmail exclusively revealed on New Year’s Eve that the Italian was under increasing pressure at Vicarage Road amid doubts over his suitability as head coach and the decision has now arrived after the 3-0 home defeat to Norwich City.
In a statement, Watford said: “The Hornets’ Board recognises Claudio as a man of great integrity and honour, who will always be respected here at Vicarage Road for his efforts in leading the team with dignity.
“However the Board feels that, with nearly half of the Premier League campaign remaining, a change in the Head Coach position now will give a new appointment sufficient time to work with a talented squad to achieve the immediate goal of retaining Premier League status.”
Whoever replaces Ranieri will be their third manager of the season after the Pozzo family, who own Watford, dismissed Xisco Munoz on October 3.
Munoz left Watford 14th in the league but they have been in freefall since Ranieri’s arrival.
Ranieri, 70, apologised to fans after the Norwich humbling and he departs having overseen 11 defeats since he replaced Munoz in October.