EVEN by the soap opera standards of Newport County AFC, it’s been an eventful week for the club.

When I left the country for a short break after the win over Port Vale on September 7, County were on a real high after a late Jamille Matt winner kept them second in League Two.

A sixth successive clean sheet in the league extended the club-record unbeaten run to 17 regular season games and all seemed rosy in the Exiles’ garden.

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Since then they’ve lost academy manager Jordan Gibson, lost that unbeaten record at Northampton Town and lost Ryan Inniss and Matt (above) to suspension.

And they’re also on the verge of losing manager Michael Flynn to Lincoln City, if the bookmakers and fevered online speculation are to be believed.

Should those rumours, which started almost as soon as Danny Cowley left the Imps for Huddersfield Town last Monday, be believed?

It appears that the interest from Lincoln is genuine and reports that Flynn has been interviewed for the post at least once have not been expressly denied by either party.

Flynn went on record on Friday to state that, as far as he knew at that time, there had been no contact between the two clubs but he’s certainly not ruled out a move to Sincil Bank.

Exeter City boss Matty Taylor, who enjoyed a brief spell as a County player back in 2015, has reportedly declined the chance to speak to Lincoln.

And Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth has, according to the Daily Mail, rejected an offer to take over from Cowley.

But Ainsworth, a former Lincoln player, has been very open about his desire to speak to the Imps and it’s believed that talks have continued since the weekend.

There has been no official statement from County but the messages coming out of the club are that it is very much business as usual ahead of tonight’s trip to Macclesfield Town.

Flynn will be in the dugout at Moss Rose and they expect him to be in charge for Saturday’s home clash with table-topping Exeter at Rodney Parade.

One way or the other, the issue is expected to be cleared up before then as Lincoln are said to be keen to have a new manager in place before they host Oxford United in League One on Saturday.

And the sooner the speculation is put to bed, the better as far as everyone is concerned.

Flynn and the players insist that the issue was not a factor in Saturday’s defeat at Northampton, but it can’t have helped in the preparation.

I wasn’t there to judge it, but it’s clear that the Exiles put in an uncharacteristically poor performance at Sixfields.

And, coincidence or not, County and Wycombe were both beaten on Saturday while Exeter only salvaged a draw with a late leveller at home to Leyton Orient.

Of course, we’ve been here before with Flynn.

County supporters have grown used to their manager being linked with a move away from his hometown club as soon as a League One job becomes available.

And the directors have ridden out the storm in the past as Flynn was strongly linked to the vacancies at Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury Town last season.

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It’s an unfortunate side effect of the success that Flynn, assistant manager Wayne Hatswell and management consultant Lennie Lawrence have bought to the club since they took charge in March 2017.

The trio have done a remarkable job and, as the figurehead, Flynn has deservedly caught the attention of clubs higher up the ladder.

As long as he and his players continue to upset the odds in the league – outperforming clubs on much higher budgets – and taking eye-catching scalps in the cups, he will continue to be linked to other jobs.

And sooner or later, the ambitious manager that he is, Flynn will move on.

That is inevitable and, as such, the County hierarchy have to be prepared.

It would be a dereliction of duty by the directors if a tentative succession plan had not been discussed and sightings of Dino Maamria and Gary Megson at the Northampton game have further fuelled the rumour mill.

This week could yet be the end of the Flynn era at Rodney Parade, it could be the beginning of the end or it could merely be the end of the beginning.

Like the majority of County fans, I’d love to see him stay and complete the job here by winning promotion to League One.

But he deserves to go with our best wishes this week, if that is his decision.

And until he does move on, I’m convinced that he will give his all for a club he loves.

Read more: Business as usual for Newport County ahead of Macclesfield Town test