Mets general manager Sandy Alderson looks on from the dugout...

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson looks on from the dugout before a game against the Braves at Citi Field on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

CHICAGO — The Mets have begun interviewing candidates for their vacant managerial opening, a source with knowledge of the process told Newsday on Wednesday, with the first round of talks expected to linger into next week.

Despite a long list of candidates who have been linked to the opening, the team is expected to interview about a half dozen candidates to replace Terry Collins, who was moved into a new role as special assistant to general manager Sandy Alderson.

According to a source, those on the Mets’ initial list include Brad Ausmus, Bob Geren, Chip Hale, Robin Ventura, Joe McEwing, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Alex Cora, though it’s unclear which of those have been brought in. Alderson said last week that Mets hitting coach Kevin Long is a candidate for the job.

A source said the Mets have also been reaching out to other clubs for permission to speak with managerial candidates. In the case of Geren (Dodgers) and Cora (Astros), whose teams are in the playoffs, it is possible that interviews can be staged between rounds and days off during the postseason.

With the dismissal of John Farrell on Wednesday, the Red Sox became the fourth team with a managerial opening, joining the Mets, Tigers and Phillies. A source said the Mets don’t have interest in Farrell.

Rival executives believe Cora, the Astros’ bench coach, will attract plenty of interest. He reportedly already has been linked to the Red Sox job, an historically attractive destination. The Phillies’ opening also holds some allure with a roster infused by youth and where a rebuilding period is coming to an end.

The Tigers, meanwhile, are entering what is expected to be a long period of rebuilding.