Kevin Dillon has offered to return to Fratton Park and work for nothing.
The former Pompey favourite is currently scouting for Sheffield United following his dismissal as Aldershot boss last season.
But Dillon would relish a reunion with the club he represented 249 times and insists remains close to his heart.
The 53-year-old applied for the vacant manager’s job the day after Michael Appleton quit for Blackpool.
Guy Whittingham is currently handling first-team matters in a caretaker capacity, assisted by Andy Awford.
But Dillon, who also served as Steve Coppell’s assistant when Reading won the Championship with a record points tally in 2006, is eager for the job.
He said: ‘Pompey is a club that is close to my heart. It is terrible what has happened.
‘At the moment I am scouting for Sheffield United, so I’ve been to five games at Fratton Park this season – and it’s always great to go back.
‘It’s a club I have always loved.
‘My twins were born in St Mary’s and we lived in Southsea before spending seven years on Hayling Island.
‘I didn’t want to leave. The only reason I did was John Gregory – we didn’t see eye-to-eye and I didn’t appreciate the way he spoke to players. I wish I had stayed.
‘The day after Michael Appleton left I got my CV in.
‘I would love to go back and help them out.
‘I would do it for nothing if they asked. All they would have to do is give me petrol money to come from Reading!
‘The club needs somebody the supporters can look back on. People like me, Vince Hilaire, Billy Gilbert, whoever. People who understand what it is all about.
‘But give Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford credit, they are holding it together.’