Cook in talks with Saints
St Johnstone have begun talks with Sligo Rovers boss Paul Cook over their managerial vacancy.
Saints chairman Geoff Brown has secured an agreement with the Airtricity League club, who sit second in the table.
Brown told BBC Scotland: "We have got permission from Sligo to speak to Paul Cook and we are in the process of talking to him. We've had lots of applicants and, looking at them, we've made a lot of crosses and a number of ticks."
Liverpudlian Cook is a former Stockport team-mate of Derek McInnes, who left McDiarmid Park last week to take over at Bristol City.
The former Wigan, Wolves and Burnley midfielder has guided Sligo to two trophies since taking over in 2007 - the League of Ireland Cup in 2009 and the FAI Cup last year.
The Irish club confirmed they had agreed a fee for St Johnstone to take Cook, should talks prove fruitful.
A statement on their official website read: "Sligo Rovers can confirm that manager Paul Cook has asked for permission to speak to St Johnstone about the vacancy with the Scottish Premier League club.
"The two clubs have spoken and agreed terms of compensation. Negotiations are currently ongoing between Paul Cook and St Johnstone."
Cook, who is believed to have been recommended by McInnes, appears to be a strong bet for the job as Saints do not want to approach several managers.
"The last thing I want to do is what Watford did to us a few years ago when they were after a manager," Brown said. "They upset about six clubs by lining up a list of people they wanted to speak to if their first approach didn't work out. We were one of them."