Nigel Pearson has ruled himself out of the running to be the next Sunderland manager, with sources confirming to the Echo there is 'no interest' in the job.
Pearson had been among the bookies favourites for the role ever since David Moyes handed his notice in five weeks ago.
The former Leicester City and Derby County boss is a free agent and would have appealed to the Sunderland hierarchy given his Championship experience and the fact they wouldn't have had to fork out any compensation.
But sources close to Pearson's camp have confirmed the 53-year-old has no interest in taking charge at the Stadium of Light as another contender falls by the wayside.
Garry Monk opted for Middlesbrough while Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes turned the job down at the Stadium of Light.
The search for a new boss has been hampered by the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing takeover talks, with owner Ellis Short in advanced discussions with a group of German investors.
Preston North End boss Simon Grayson remains the bookies’ favourite, but any new owners would look to bring in their own man.
And Union Berlin head coach Jens Keller has seen his odds dramatically slashed in the bookmakers market over the past week.
The German was 40/1 but is now second favourite behind Grayson with the 46-year-old now 4/1 with some bookies.
Previously linked with the Norwich City job, Keller is highly regarded in Germany and has previously worked at Stuttgart and Schalke 04.
Keller, a former defender, has another year on his contract at Union Berlin and he would appeal given Sunderland are set to target the German second division as part of their summer transfer plans.
As the Echo reported on Friday, takeover talks will not be resolved until next week as Short continues his bid to sell Sunderland.
The Black Cats owner had set a deadline of the end of the month for interested parties to complete a deal for the club.
However, the Echo understands that the deadline could be brought forward, with one of the potential buyers keen to finalise a takeover by the beginning of the week.
A German consortium is in pole position to strike an agreement with Short, who is believed to want around £90million for his holding.
However, there is also renewed interest from a US consortium, according to reports in London.
The German group remains strong favourites, and sources near to the bid say they are 'very close' to an agreement.
However, with a number of small differences still to be ironed out, it is by no means guaranteed that Short will accept the terms on offer.
Sunderland’s players return to pre-season training on Thursday, before jetting off to Austria for a five-day training camp.
First team coach Robbie Stockdale will lead the pre-season training programme unless a new manager is unveiled before Thursday.