New contract for Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce?
Reports Sam Allardyce is set to sign a new contract to extend his stay at Sunderland are wide of the mark, the Echo understands.
Allardyce signed a two-year deal when he took charge last October, replacing Dick Advocaat who had resigned after failing to win any of the club's opening eight league games.
The vastly experienced 61-year-old managed to keep the club in the Premier League against the odds, with Sunderland sealing safety with a game to spare.
Allardyce has impressed since taking charge at the Stadium of Light, with his shrewd January signings a key reason behind the club's escape from the drop.
It would be no surprise if he were offered improved terms but with 16-months still remaining on the contract he signed when he arrived, the Echo understands reports that his contract will be extended imminently are wide of the mark.
Allardyce retains close ties with ailing former club Bolton and it would not be a surprise if he eventually resumes allegiances with the Trotters at boardroom level once his spell at Sunderland is over.
But for now the focus remains very much on reshaping his Sunderland squad and preparing for another season in the Premier League - with the aim of establishing the side further up the league table.
Allardyce is set to oversee a major summer overhaul, with the former West Ham boss keen to clear the deadwood.
Allardyce has held detailed discussions with chairman Ellis Short over the club's summer transfer business and the Black Cats boss believes there will be a hefty quantity of incomings and outgoings.
"I think there’ll be a massive turnover if we do the job right," said Allardyce recently.
"There’s lots of players here on loan or out-of-contract, so there’s a question of what we do with them and how many we keep."
With Allardyce at the helm, Sunderland have been tipped to embark upon a more stable era after four successive dramatic escapes from relegation.
And the ex-Newcastle United and Bolton boss hopes that proves to be the case.
"I think the future will be determined by me and Ellis [Short] going forward together," added Allardyce.
"With his help and hopefully with my experience and some great recruitment, we can achieve better things together."