Sunderland aim to secure David Moyes as the club’s new manager over the weekend – ahead of their week-long training camp in France.
Club officials pledged to act “quickly and decisively” in replacing Sam Allardyce after the 61-year-old was finally named England manager.
The focus of everyone at Sunderland AFC now is on moving forward quickly and decisivelySAFC STATEMENT
Negotiations are at an advanced stage with number one choice Moyes and an agreement with the former Everton and Manchester United manager is close to completion.
First team coach Robbie Stockdale will take charge of the first team away at Rotherham United this afternoon, Sunderland’s final domestic friendly.
The squad then travel to France tomorrow ahead of a seven-night training camp near Lake Geneva, where they will play three friendlies.
And with just three weeks to go until the start of the new Premier League season, Sunderland have no time to lose when it comes to replacing Allardyce.
Odds tumbled on a return for Steve Bruce to the Stadium of Light dugout shortly after news broke yesterday that he had resigned as Hull City boss.
But Bruce - sacked by Sunderland in 2011 - is reported to be taking a break from the game, while Moyes prepares to return to the Premier League.
Moyes was on a coaching seminar in Jordan earlier this week, but he is eager to return to work since being sacked by Spanish side Real Sociedad in November.
His first priority will be to add to a squad in desperate need of strengthening, with the Black Cats yet to make a signing due to the state of limbo caused by Allardyce’s departure.
Reinforcements up front are needed, to relieve some of the pressure from Jermain Defoe, while a right-back is high on the wishlist - with £5million Aston Villa defender Micah Richards linked.
The FA’s protracted pursuit of Allardyce, who steered the club to Premier League survival last season, angered Sunderland chairman Ellis Short.
Allardyce has signed an initial two-year deal with England after a compensation package worth a reported £3million was finally agreed.
A short 47-word statement from Sunderland officials stressed the need to appoint a new manager swiftly, with Moyes expected to be unveiled over the weekend.
The statement read: “Sunderland AFC confirms the departure of Sam Allardyce, who takes up the position of England manager with immediate effect.
“The focus of everyone at Sunderland AFC now is on moving forward quickly and decisively, with the appointment of the club’s new manager to be confirmed at the earliest opportunity.”
Allardyce was at the Academy of Light yesterday morning before he was officially appointed England boss.
Stockdale has taken training over the past couple of days and he will be assisted at Rotherham United by Paul Bracewell.