Former Carlisle United manager Chris Beech and ex-Blues midfielder Russel Penn are among the early favourites to become Cheltenham Town's next manager.

The Robins saw boss Michael Duff depart on Monday as he prepares to join fellow League One side Barnsley.

Beech was also among the names mentioned for the vacancy at Oakwell, with reports suggesting he was under consideration by the Tykes.

But while that job is now out of the equation, the 47-year-old has been named as one of the frontrunners with the bookmakers to take over at Whaddon Road.

Beech left Brunton Park in October 2021 after just under two years at the helm - in what was his first managerial job.

The former Hartlepool United and Huddersfield Town midfielder had previously worked at Rochdale as Keith Hill's number two.

He steadied the ship after his arrival at Carlisle and at times had the Cumbrians competing in the upper echelons of League Two.

But he left the club third from bottom in the fourth tier and just two points clear of the relegation zone.

Penn, meanwhile, spent a brief spell with the Blues during the 2016/17 before departing to join Wrexham.

He is priced at 12/1 to take the job, having impressed in his first managerial role at Kidderminster Harriers.

Beech can be backed at 14/1 to replace Duff, with Wade Elliott and Michael Appleton the current favourites at 6/1.

Gary Caldwell (10/1), Darren Ferguson (10/1) and Paul Tisdale (12/1) are also viewed as early contenders.

Cheltenham have confirmed that Russell Milton will take temporary charge of the side as a replacement is sought - with no timescale set on appointing a new manager.