Sunderland will push ahead with plans to finalise a deal for David Moyes, once they have agreed compensation with the FA for Sam Allardyce’s exit.
Allardyce confirmed to his players at half-time of last night’s 3-0 pre-season win over Hartlepool United that he had won the race to be England manager, with the 61-year-old’s appointment expected to be confirmed by the FA today.
However, Sunderland chairman Ellis Short is demanding a hefty compensation package for Allardyce’s exit and until that is agreed, the FA will not be able to unveil the successor to Roy Hodgson.
After England’s pursuit of Allardyce has cast a shadow over the club’s pre-season for the last fortnight though, Sunderland are conscious of the need for swift action and are understood to have held advanced negotiations with ex-Manchester United boss Moyes over taking the reins.
Moyes is eager to return to management after leaving Spanish side Real Sociedad last November, and has been on Short’s radar on at least two previous occasions - the last when Allardyce replaced Dick Advocaat at the helm nine months ago.
The Scot would offer Sunderland some much-needed continuity as a similar kind of manager to Allardyce and demonstrated his prowess in achieving Premier League stability during his 12 years at Everton.
Allardyce left Victoria Park before the final whistle under instructions not to talk about his new role.
That is what Sunderland continue to crave as they search for a seventh manager in less than five years, with Short understood to be fuming over the departure of Allardyce, who had so spectacularly kept the club in the top flight last season.
Sunderland referred to the “anger and frustration” over the situation in another strongly-worded club statement last night, with the length of the FA’s manager hunt understood to have particularly infuriated the Black Cats.
“Naturally we are aware of the intense media speculation this evening, however, at the present time Sam Allardyce remains Sunderland manager,” it said.
“We share in the anger and frustration of our supporters and would like to assure them that we are working to conclude the matter in the best interests of Sunderland AFC.”
Allardyce had watched the first half of Sunderland’s victory from the dug-out, but spent the second half in the tunnel talking with players and club officials after telling the first-teamers of his departure at the interval.
He then left Hartlepool’s Victoria Park before the final whistle under instructions not to talk about his new role.
Allardyce is due to pen a two-year deal as England manager, with his first game at the helm coming in a friendly in September.