Sunderland are not expecting to land an instant replacement for Dick Advocaat, despite an awareness that the clock is ticking.
The Black Cats are busy considering contingency plans for the head coach’s position after being left disappointed by Advocaat’s decision to retire from club football, rather than extend his tenure at the Stadium of Light.
Congerton has at least been able to consider a variety of options during Advocaat’s two-month tenure, while he has held fresh talks with his scouting team, plus European contacts, over the last week when it became apparent that the former Holland manager was likely to reject Sunderland’s advances
It is unlikely that there will be an imminent appointment made, as was the case back in March when Advocaat was confirmed as Gus Poyet’s successor within 24 hours of the Uruguayan’s dismissal.
But sporting director Lee Congerton is well aware that the pressure is on him to line up a suitable alternative within the next month.
Sunderland’s players will be back for pre-season training at the start of July, while, just as is importantly, there is only so much Congerton can do in the transfer market before then, without a head coach at the helm.
Congerton is able to look at contract extensions, line up potential summer signings and offload those surplus to requirements, yet he realises it is difficult to land reinforcements without a man in the dug-out.
However, Congerton has at least been able to consider a variety of options during Advocaat’s two-month tenure, while he has held fresh talks with his scouting team, plus European contacts, over the last week when it became apparent that the former Holland manager was likely to reject Sunderland’s advances.
Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement has been on Congerton’s radar for several months and he remains a candidate who is seriously admired.
But Sunderland would need to hijack Clement’s move to Derby County as Steve McClaren’s replacement (where he has reportedly been offered a £3million-a-year contract, while the Black Cats also hold reservations over his lack of front-line managerial experience.
That is a box which is ticked by David Moyes and the ex-Manchester United manager is a candidate who has plenty of support among members of Sunderland’s hierarchy after his exploits at former club Everton.
However, Moyes has repeatedly stressed this summer that he wants to remain at La Liga outfit Real Sociedad and is not looking to return to the Premier League at this stage, after speculation linking him with Newcastle and West Ham.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche is another possibility who is admired by Sunderland and was in Ellis Short’s thinking prior to the appointment of Poyet.
But, as reported on several occasions over the last month, bookies favourite Sam Allardyce is not thought to be on Sunderland’s hit-list, while there were reports yesterday that the ex-Newcastle boss is not interested in the position anyway.