Paul Hurst: Shrewsbury Town boss given permission to speak to Ipswich

Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst
Paul Hurst's Shrewsbury lost at Wembley for a second time in seven weeks on Saturday

Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst is to speak with Ipswich Town about the prospect of becoming their new manager.

Shrewsbury have reluctantly given Ipswich permission to start talks with Hurst, 43, after agreeing compensation for him and his assistant Chris Doig.

"It was disappointing that the first phone call came from the agent," Shrewsbury chief executive Brian Caldwell told BBC Radio Shropshire.

"I have told Ipswich that could have been potentially an illegal approach."

Championship side Ipswich have been looking for a new manager since 11 April when Mick McCarthy, who had been due to leave at the end of the season, opted to go sooner.

Hurst, who joined Shrewsbury from Grimsby Town in October 2016, led his side for the last time in Sunday's League One play-off final loss to Rotherham United, when the beaten EFL Trophy finalists were beaten at Wembley for the second time in seven weeks.

"It's been a sore 48 hours for the club," added Caldwell. "We've agreed a compensation package and we just have to move on now."

Shrewsbury have already been linked with Scottish first division side Livingston's David Hopkin as a potential replacement.

The 47-year-old former Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leeds United midfielder David Hopkin, who led Livingston to second place last season, has been in charge since December 2015.

"As Paul has done well and been linked with a number of jobs throughout the season, we've kept an eye on the market," added Caldwell.

'I've always said I'm ambitious'

Hurst said after Sunday's 2-1 extra-time defeat that he did not "have a crystal ball" and that he "didn't know what future is going to hold".

Asked if he intended to speak to Ipswich, Hurst said: "I said right from the start that I'm ambitious, and I'm flattered to be linked with clubs like that.

"But I've been linked at various points all season and I'm still here at the minute. Let's see what happens.

"At this moment in time I'm only interested in the players. I've got some of them to speak to with regard to next season - and that's not nice.

"We've just lost a final and a couple of them are going to get some news that's not great, but that's part of being a manager."

Shrewsbury Town players dejected at Wembley
Shrewsbury missed out on a place in the second tier of English football - a level they last played at in 1988-89

Having taken Grimsby back to the English Football League in May 2016, Hurst moved up a level when he joined Shrewsbury five months later.

He arrived when they were bottom of League One, saved them from relegation and then defied the bookmakers' estimates that they would finish bottom this season.

After sitting in the top two for the majority of the season, Town missed out on an automatic promotion place - and Hurst has suggested that it will only get tougher to reach the second tier.

"The challenge of getting anywhere near again now is probably harder than the Championship challenge would have been," said Hurst, whose team were beaten at Wembley by Lincoln in the Checkatrade Trophy final in April.

"Financially, we'd have been up against it, but I'd have happily taken that challenge on.

"We'd have had to defy the odds again. Rotherham are a prime example, when you look at how difficult they found it last year.

"I wanted to raise expectations here but are we going to be sensible now moving forward?"

Paul Hurst Interview with BBC Shropshire's Nick Southall.

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