Exclusive: Sunderland job bad timing for Sam Allardyce – because of book tour

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce
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Bookmakers’ favourite Sam Allardyce has not ruled out a return to Sunderland as Dick Advocaat’s successor – but the job has come up at a bad time.

Allardyce is understood to be on the club’s managerial shortlist in the wake of Advocaat’s weekend resignation.

And Allardyce – who is understood to have flown to Spain last night – is keen to get back into management if the right job comes along.

But as yet there has been no contact from Sunderland, who are 19th in the Premier League.

Former Newcastle United manager Allardyce watched Sunderland’s 2-2 home against West Ham United on Saturday while in Ireland working for broadcaster Setanta.

And the 60-year-old – who had spells at Sunderland as a player and coach earlier in his career – was left in no doubt that the biggest issue is a defence which has leaked 18 goals in eight games.

The timing, however, could be problematic should Sunderland move for Allardyce, whose autobiography is published this month.

The timing, however, could be problematic should Sunderland move for Allardyce, whose autobiography is published this month.

Allardyce is due to return to England from Spain later this month for a tour to promote his book, which is entitled ‘Big Sam: My Autobiography’.

The structure at the club – Advocaat worked under a director of football at the Stadium of Light – could also be an issue for Allardyce, who has previously had full control of transfers. However, Sunderland sporting director Lee Congerton’s future is unclear amid reports he has also tendered his resination.

Allardyce has been out of work since the summer, when he left West Ham United.