Sunderland are reported to have been knocked back by former Inter Milan boss Walter Mazzarri as the hunt for a new manager continues.
Experienced Mazzarri, who has also managed Napoli and Sampdoria, is reported to have flown to the North East to discuss the move but rejected the chance to take over, according to Italian sources.
They say he decided against it because he wanted a club with a better chance of survival.
Mazzarri has been among the early favourites ever since Dick Advocaat’s resignation was confirmed on Sunday in the wake of the 2-2 draw with West Ham United.
Ex-West Ham boss Sam Allardyce remains the leading candidate with club officials hoping to have their new man in place in time for the West Brom game a week on Saturday - the first game back after the International break.
Mazzarri had also been linked with the Liverpool job but Italian sources claim he was never approached.