Former Cardiff boss Malky Mackay has distanced himself from the vacant job as Albion manager.

But Real Madrid coach Paul Clement has attracted support in betting markets as the Seagulls assess their options to replace Oscar Garcia.

Tim Sherwood last night remained the bookies’ favourite to take over at the Amex with Clement and Mackay also being backed.

Mackay recently concluded a legal process with his former chairman at Cardiff City, Vincent Tan, and is free to take a new job.

But the Scotsman’s agent Raymond Sparkes has played down any chance of his client – who took Cardiff to the Premier League little more than a year ago – joining the Seagulls.

Sparkes told The Argus. “I’m aware it is an opening that has become available and for many people it would be a very attractive job.

“I’m full of admiration for the attraction of that club but we are actively involved in a couple of things – and they are not Brighton.”

The Argus understands Real Madrid value the tactical input of Clement, who works as one of Carlo Ancelotti’s trusted assistants, and would encourage him to try his hand as a manager in his own right if the right opportunity arose.

Clement previously worked with Ancelotti at Chelsea and Paris-St Germain and a source close to Madrid said his next logical step would be to secure a position as manager.