Sam Allardyce is close to being appointed as Sunderland’s next boss – and could be announced in the post as early as tonight.
Allardyce’s representatives and the club have been in talks over the past 48 hours.
And reports claim the two parties are close to a deal which would see Allardyce take charge at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland owner Ellis Short is desperate to persuade the 60-year-old to succeed Dick Advocaat at the club, which is 19th in the Premier League.
Allardyce – who left West Ham United at the end of last season – is in Spain.
And the former Newcastle United manager is reportedly ready to return to England to take up the reins on Wearside.
Allardyce had spells at Sunderland as a player and coach earlier in his career.
The former Black Cats defender was quickly identified as the leading candidate for the post following Advocaat’s departure last Sunday and he has been installed as the overwhelming bookmakers’ favourite in recent days.
His proven track record for establishing clubs in the top flight makes him attractive to Short, who has seen Sunderland flirt with relegation for too much of his reign, only rescuing themselves with remarkable late runs at the end of each of the last three campaigns.
They are yet to win a league game in eight attempts to date this season, and Advocaat voiced the opinion after his exit that the current squad is simply not good enough.