Monday marks five weeks to the day since David Moyes handed in his resignation.
The search for a new manager is still to reach a conclusion but it now seems clear that the takeover by a German consortium is key.
The deadline for an agreement to be reached in principle is rapidly approaching, and should it pass Martin Bain will then have to move swiftly to land a candidate. Simon Grayson will be in his thoughts and while the club would have been keen to speak to Nigel Pearson, he has distanced himself from the job.
Should the takeover go through, however, the consortium is likely to target their own manager, someone who can exploit the German market that served Huddersfield Town so well last season.
The two names most heavily linked with the role are Jens Keller and Jurgen Klinsmann.
Keller first became discussed in English football circles when recently linked to the post at Norwich City.
Having poached Sporting Director Stuart Webber from Huddersfield, the Canaries were looking for a candidate who could help them exploit the German market in the way David Wagner had for the Terriers.
Webber, who was largely responsible for bringing Wagner to Yorkshire, considered Keller but eventually opted for Daniel Farke, who had succeeded Wagner as the Dortmund reserve team manager.
Keller, who currently manages Union Berlin, would unquestionably be a highly credible candidate for the Sunderland post.
His time at Schalke, spanning two years, was a curious one but undoubtedly impressive on the whole. Promoted to the role initially on an interim basis, Keller rescued their season with the club's best ever post winter break points haul, securing a Champions League place.
In his first full season they finished third in the league behind Dortmund and Bayern, getting out of the Champions League group stages before a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Real Madrid. Keller also brought Jan Kirchhoff on loan from Bayern, though the German struggled for first team appearances.
Keller never won over much of the fanbase and his departure, soon into his second full season, was seen as somewhat inevitable. Keller was also criticised for lacking the charisma necessary for such a high profile club, while his tactical reliance on a 4-2-3-1 system was seen by many as too rigid and lacking invention to regularly beat the weaker sides in the division.
Nevertheless, the club have struggled since Keller's departure and he also played a key role in the emergence of a number of young stars, such as Julian Draxler and now Arsenal bound Sead Kolasinac. His overall win ration fell just shy of an impressive 50%.
His current side Union Berlin finished fourth in the second tier of the Bundesliga this season.
A high profile name linked with the job should the takeover go through.
For numerous reasons, it is a surprising development given that Klinsmann has only ever coached a club side for one season, and that was Bundesliga giants Bayern.
The 52-year-old is settled in America, where he managed the national side for five years, leaving his post in November last year. To lure him to the rigours of the Championship would be a major challenge for the prospective new owners and would surely require the promise of a significant transfer kitty. In their favour might be that Klinsmann's reputation has taken a battering as his American side struggled, and returning to the UK, where he was a major success with Tottenham, may appeal.
Unquestionably, Klinsmann would be a significant move for the Black Cats and while his career in management has not been an overwhelming success, he is a World Cup winning player and as manager, largely responsible for bringing in the changes that turned the German side, and league, from underachievers to giants of the world game.
He has favoured youth everywhere where he has managed and places a far greater emphasis on attack than defence.
Tactically, however, he has been critcised by a number of his former players and regularly raised eyebrows on Wearside with his defence of Jozy Altidore as the striker floundered.
Without question, both he and Keller would represent a radical and exciting change of direction.