Length of deal is stumbling block for Pars and Jefferies

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Dunfermline hope to have a new manager in place in the middle of the week, but as yet there has been no movement over the potential appointment of former Hearts boss Jim Jefferies.

Jefferies held talks with the club yesterday over replacing Jim McIntyre, who was removed from the East End Park hotseat last week, but no deal was reached.

Both parties put their views across and it remains unclear whether the former Hearts and Kilmarnock manager will come to an agreement with the Dunfermline board.

The length of the contract is believed to be a stumbling block. Pars chairman John Yorkston has said they may need to go for a short-term option if a long-term choice is not available.

Jefferies, 61, was removed from his role as Hearts manager three games into the season despite leading the club to a third-place finish in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League last year. He was replaced by Paulo Sergio.

Dunfermline, who have not played since a March 3 defeat by Motherwell, sacked McIntyre on Friday. They host St Mirren on Saturday looking for their first home win of the season and bidding to cut a four-point deficit on Hibernian at the foot of the SPL.

Director of football Jim Leishman confirmed talks with their preferred candidate would continue.

Leishman would not confirm the identity of their main target, but it is understood Jefferies has held talks with the club.

“The board had a meeting yesterday to discuss possible candidates and the way forward,” Leishman said.

“They have someone in mind and they’re going to be having ongoing discussions.”

McIntyre’s assistant, Gerry McCabe, has been put in charge of training and will take the team on Saturday if no appointment is made.

“I think the idea is to get someone in for this weekend because it is a huge game,” Leishman said.

“But Gerry’s under contract here just now and he’s a professional and a great football person.

“Gerry will do his job and get on with it and he’ll lift these guys for Saturday.”