Aberdeen winger Jonny Hayes says players and fans are keen for Derek McInnes to stay on despite Sunderland's interest.
The Black Cats will step up their search for a new manager this week and McInnes is the frontrunner.
His side were narrowly beaten by Celtic on Saturday in the Scottish Cup final but McInnes has won praise for three consecutive second placed finishes with the Pittodrie outfit.
Hayes says McInnes has done a 'great job' and would have to look at a better offer, if it arrived.
He told the Aberdeen Evening Express: “It’s to be expected,
"Whether it’s managers or players, if you are doing your job and you are linked with bigger or better clubs then you are obviously doing something right.
“We have had speculation about players going here, there and everywhere. We just take a positive spin on that knowing that someone is doing their job right.
“We would be delighted if the manager stays on but it’s to be expected. He’s done a great job here, lifting the club out of the doldrums to be clearly the second best in the country," he added.
“We have tried to match the best but we have fallen a bit short this year. But it’s still a work in progress and I know the ambition he has, he will do his best to put Aberdeen on that pedestal.
“Obviously if a better offer comes in, in any walk of life you have to look at it. But as players and as a club and the fans as well, we would like him to stay on.”
Hayes himself has been linked with a move this summer after Cardiff City failed with two bids in January.
Birmingham City are also thought to be interested in the Irishman, but the Black Cats themselves have been linked with a swoop should McInnes decide to move to Wearside.