Could Chris Coleman sensationally return to Sunderland? Stewart Donald leaves door open

Stewart Donald has refused to rule out a sensational return to Sunderland for former manager Chris Coleman.
Ex-Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.Ex-Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.
Ex-Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.

Follow our live Sunderland AFC blog here:Coleman was sacked by Ellis Short on the morning that Stewart Donald was announced as the prospective owner-in-waiting.

Three weeks later Donald won the backing of the EFL and his takeover was approved, with the new owner unveiled to the media at the Stadium of Light on Monday afternoon.

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Donald hopes to be able to appoint a new manager within the next seven days and he has left the door open for a return for Coleman.

It would be a remarkable move. Jack Ross, Alex Rae, Chris Wilder and Michael Appleton have all been heavily linked with the role.

Coleman had spoken at length of his desire to help steer Sunderland back to the Championship and was even willing to take a pay cut to do it but he was sacked after failing to keep Sunderland up, the decision taken by Short.

Follow our live Sunderland AFC blog here:Donald said: "It wasn’t us [who sacked Coleman], and I wouldn’t rule out potentially talking to Chris,” said Donald.

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"We’ve got one week, we believe, to get ourselves organised. From a fans’ perspective, Chris is obviously the visual one.

“What Ellis Short has done through this whole process is that he has tidied up the business as best he can to reduce the liabilities moving forward. He has decided that Chris is one of those, and that is up to him.

"That’s absolutely nothing to do with us, and we wouldn’t necessarily exclude Chris from the process of arranging a new manager. It was completely and utterly down to Ellis.

"Potentially, we would look to speak to Chris.

"There’s a view of whether or not League One is Chris’ domain, but when we’ve looked at the list of people who have applied, and you say you want to speak to three or four people, I think Chris would potentially be in those three or four."

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Follow our live Sunderland AFC blog here:Donald added: "There hasn’t been any contact [with potential candidates], but we haven’t been able to do anything up to now.

"You get a vibe and a feel from the footballing industry [about who might be interested], and there are obviously lots of people who have applied and we’ve looked at those.

"We’ve got a list of people that have applied that we would be interested in, and we’ve also got another idea about who might be interested in the Sunderland job.

"Then we have our own people who we think could do a job for Sunderland. But I wouldn’t exclude Chris Coleman from that."