Sunderland are reportedly looking to replace sacked manager Martin O’Neill with former England coach Steve McClaren.
It is being reported that the relegation-haunted Black Cats have already lined up an immediate successor to O’Neill and could make an appointment as early as Monday.
And it seems McClaren, who still lives in the North-East having managed local rivals Middlesbrough between 2001 and 2006, will be approached to save the Wearsiders from relegation to the Championship.
McClaren enjoyed great success at the Riverside Stadium, where he established Boro as a Premier League outfit, won the club its first trophy in the 2004 Carling Cup and guided them to the 2006 UEFA Cup final.
It was on the back of that European adventure that he was handed the England job as Sven-Goran Eriksson’s successor in summer 2006. But his spell in charge of the national team ended in November 2007 when the Three Lions lost to Croatia at Wembley and subsequently failed to qualify for Euro 2008.
McClaren went on to guide FC Twente to their first ever Dutch title before ill-fated spells in Germany with Wolfsburg and with Championship side Nottingham Forest. He then endured a disappointing return to Twente which ended in his dismissal earlier this year.
His managerial career could now end up back in the North-East at the Stadium of Light and his job will be to save the club from relegation, with O’Neill axed following a run of eight games without a win. Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat against Manchester United leaves them just one point clear of the relegation places with seven matches remaining.
Former Swindon boss Paolo Di Canio and recently axed Reading chief Brian McDermott have also been linked with the job.