Steve Coppell has ruled himself out of the running to become the new manager of Brighton.
Coppell was among the favourites to succeed Russell Slade, who was sacked by the Seagulls last Sunday, and return to the club he left in 2003. But chairman Tony Bloom has now been forced to look elsewhere.
Bloom told The Argus: "Steve was one of the first names to spring to mind, and would have been a leading candidate for the job, but on initial contact he ruled himself out."
He added: "He is enjoying his time out of the game after leaving Reading last summer and I think only a very high-profile job could tempt him back into football at this time.
"We have had a high number of quality applicants and have now refined the shortlist and will continue with the process of evaluating and interviewing the leading contenders."
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