Sunderland still in limbo with Sam Allardyce and England situation

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce

Sunderland remain no further forward over Sam Allardyce’s future, with the Black Cats waiting for any further contact from the dawdling FA.

Black Cats chairman Ellis Short has been fuming over the timing of the FA’s approach to Allardyce, but his mood has not been helped by a lack of clarity over when they expect to make a decision.

Privately, Sunderland had hoped that the matter would be resolved by next weekend at the latest, which – if Allardyce was appointed – would at least leave the club three weeks before the start of the season to put a new manager in place and allow him to enter the transfer market.

However, that timescale is looking increasingly precarious with the FA yet to speak with Allardyce’s fellow contender, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe.

Bournemouth are currently in the midst of a pre season trip to America and won’t return until next weekend.

There has been a suggestion that Howe could be an assistant to Allardyce in the England dug-out, but he is expected to be involved in the interview process for the main position, as is Hull boss Steve Bruce.

The possibility of the FA appointing an interim successor to Roy Hodgson continues to circulate too, despite Allardyce’s eagerness to fulfil his ambition of becoming England manager, and wholesale support from both the media and footballing fraternity for the 61-year-old.

But the FA are eager to keep the process as secretive as possible, with Sunderland forced to go public over the situation in a statement last week after Allardyce was pictured following his interview.

Sunderland have been making informal enquiries over contingency options for Allardyce with out-of-work ex-Manchester United manager David Moyes justifiably the firm bookmakers favourite to take charge at the Stadium of Light.

But in a situation out of their making, Sunderland are unable to appoint a new boss and wary of making any significant moves in the transfer market.

As the Echo reported on Saturday, Sunderland have made an enquiry for PSG right-back Youssouf Sabaly and have held talks with the French club over a season-long loan, with a view to a permanent switch.

Yet the Allardyce situation is proving to be a delay to any possible deal.

Sunderland’s players resume training today at the Academy of Light after being given the weekend off following their nine-day fitness camp in Austria, with Allardyce due to lead them in Wednesday night’s opening pre-season friendly at Hartlepool.

The players have been made aware of Allardyce’s talks with the FA ever since he left the Alpine training base for talks last week.