The Cobblers have requested permission from another Sky Bet League Two club to speak to their manager about the vacancy at Sixfields.
Town have targeted a man currently coaching in their division as the replacement for Aidy Boothroyd, who was sacked more than a month ago. The search for Boothroyd’s successor has been a long and drawn-out one, with caretaker Andy King taking charge of the team for the past four matches.
It is understood King will be in control of the side for the visit of Chesterfield to Northampton on Saturday, a match in which the hosts will bid to bridge the five-point gap between themselves and safety.
Another home game, against Rochdale on Tuesday night, follows that fixture and it is not known at this stage if the new man will have been appointed by then.
The league two club would need to grant permission and compensation would then have to be agreed between the two parties, as well as the contractual terms of the new boss.
The timescale of such a process is not known but it is unlikely that such arrangements will have been made before the weekend.
The bookmakers’ odds for the job have remained fairly stable, with King (4/6) and Colin Calderwood (7/2) the two front-runners.
But the price on two league two managers has changed in the past few days, with Newport’s Justin Edinburgh and Chris Wilder of Oxford both now rated as 12/1 shots.