Leicester City board ignored Gary Lineker advice on Emma Hayes after relegation from Premier League
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Gary Lineker told Leicester City to make a bold decision and hire Emma Hayes as their new manager, the England legend has revealed.
The Foxes were relegated from the Premier League in the 2022/2023 campaign and Dean Smith, who took charge of the final eight games of the season, left his position.
Enzo Maresca, a coach working Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, was ultimately Leicester's choice to take charge of the team in the Championship and the East Midlands currently sit third in the second tier after five games.
But on the Rest is Football podcast, Lineker disclosed the suggestion he made to the board and what the club fed back to him.
The story came after he, Micah Richards and Alan Shearer were asked how long it would be before a woman leads a male national team in the future.
Lineker revealed: "It's interesting, I don't know whether I told you before but in the summer, when Leicester were looking for a new manager I actually got in touch with the club with a little idea I had - which was for them to go for Emma Hayes from Chelsea.
"She's great, absolutely legitimate but imagine being the first major football club to have a woman as a coach. It would have brought massive amounts of publicity, particularly at a time when the club had gone down into the Championship.
"You'd have sold all your season tickets. It's not a stunt at all although it is in a way because it would be a massive PR opportunity.
"They did come back to me and say it's probably a step too far at this stage."
Hayes has won six FA Women's Super League titles with Chelsea and was named The Best FIFA football coach in 2021.
The 46-year-old, who is also well respected for her analysis as a pundit, has been linked with the AFC Wimbledon and Norwich City jobs in the past and even tipped to take the helm as Chelsea men's boss prior to Mauricio Pochettino's appointment.
Hayes has expressed her desire to coach in the men's game in the future but it would have to be the right opportunity.
"All coaches aspire to be at the best level they can get to, and I'm no different," she admitted on BBC 5 Live.
"If it happened for me that the next opportunity was in the men's game, then I'd welcome that.
"But I also think there needs to be more female coaches at the top end of the women's game before more are entering into the men's game."
League Two side Forest Green made a historic statement in the summer by appointing Hannah Dingley as caretaker boss in what was deemed to be a "simple decision" by owner Dale Vince.
The 40-year-old revered to her role within the academy set-up following the permanent appointment of David Horseman.