The latest on Sunderland's managerial search as Stewart Donald prepares to make big decision
Phil Parkinson became the odds-on favourite to be named the next Sunderland manager over the weekend.
Parkinson has been out of work since leaving Bolton Wanderers in August.
Having won promotion from League One with both Bolton and Colchester United, he has been identified as one of a number of potential candidates to take over at the Stadium of Light.
The search continued over the weekend with recent experience and success in League One identified as the crucial criteria in the search for Jack Ross’ replacement.
Parkinson fits the bill, as well as the likes of Gareth Ainsworth, Daniel Stendel and Paul Cook.
Nigel Pearson is also under consideration, and would bring the added benefit of potentially including Kevin Phillips in his backroom staff.
The pair worked together at Leicester City and were both in the region last week as part of a special Football Writers Association tribute night in honour of Peter Reid and Bryan Robson.
Phillips made clear that night that he wanted to be considered for the vacancy himself.
Sunderland were granted permission to speak to Ainsworth late last week, with the Wycombe Wanderers boss leading his side to an unlikely play-off spot in the early stages of the season.
His tenure at Adams Park has reached a critical juncture, with supporters to begin voting on Tuesday as to whether American businessman Rob Couhig will take a majority shareholding in the club.
Ainsworth has publicly backed Couhig and also has interest from Championship side Millwall as they search for Neil Harris’ successor.
Cook has a strong League One record, though Sunderland would face a battle to land him with Wigan Athletic keen to retain his services.
Stewart Donald will make his decision this week with Sunderland facing Wycombe on Saturday.
The Chairman told supporters over the weekend that he would no longer be communicating over twitter.
A club statement on Friday night said that talks over investment were ‘ongoing’ and that the club remained in ‘good working order’.
Reports in the Sun that a potential deal with MSD Partners was being held up by demands for promotion bonuses were strenously denied behind the scenes at Sunderland.