Sunderland's League One rivals considering shock managerial appointment - with ex-Manchester United and Celtic star lined-up
Sunderland's League One rivals Southend United are looking to have a new manager appointed by the end of this week.
They have been linked with ex-Barcelona striker Henrik Larsson in recent weeks.
Chairman Ron Martin has told fans there are currently 'five shortlisted candidates' under consideration.
Southend currently occupy the final relegation spot in League One as they go in search of Kevin Bond's successor.
Martin gave an update on the search for the Blues' new boss, as he said on Southend's club website: "Henrik Larsson is obviously one of the individuals that we have been interviewing but he is not the only candidate and no decision has been made as I write this statement."
"There are five shortlisted candidates and Gary Waddock is certainly included. It’s sometimes difficult for the assistant to step into the shoes of the manager but in this instance, Gary has had very considerable experience (a great deal more than Kevin Bond in management) and he is well-placed to stamp his authority."
Despite Martin confirming no decision has been made, it seems Larsson may be edging closer to getting his first managerial role in England.
It would be a gamble for Southend who are currently flirting with relegation to take a punt on a manager with no experience in English football.
Martin said: "I am going to Stockholm in the morning, back in the afternoon, to meet potential ‘back room staff’… but that’s it, gathering information.”
Martin assures fans he and the other backroom staff are doing everything they can to get a new manager appointed as soon as possible.
Sunderland face Southend at the beginning of November in what could be one of the new manager's first games.
Martin is confident of a conclusion sooner rather than later as he added: "It’s my wish to get through this process this week but I have to be clear that in making that decision I have more than one eye on the future in my aspirations for our club."