Ryan Giggs became the shock new favourite for the vacant Sunderland position yesterday, but there has been no contact yet between the Black Cats and the former Manchester United winger.
Chief executive Martin Bain is stepping up the search for a new manager this week and is expected to meet some of the prominent candidates.
The Scot is known to favour experience of the Championship, given the scale of the rebuilding job required at Sunderland, hence why the likes of Derek McInnes, Paul Lambert and Paul Heckingbottom have been mentioned.
That made the tumble in Giggs’ odds all the more surprising, with the 43-year-old a managerial novice apart from a short spell as caretaker manager at Old Trafford in 2014, completing the season after the sacking of David Moyes.
Some bookmakers even suspended betting on the next Sunderland manager market after Giggs came in to 1/8.
Giggs himself is minded to wait for an opportunity to manage in the Premier League, narrowly missing out on the Swansea City job last year when the club opted for Bob Bradley instead.
He was the firm early favourite to replace Steve Agnew at Middlesbrough, but Garry Monk and Nigel Pearson look to be in pole position to compete for that role.
Sunderland have been determined to take their time in replacing Moyes in order to find the right candidate, with a large number of candidates interest in the role.
One coach the Echo understands has thrown their hat into the ring is Eddie Newton.
The 45-year-old ex-Chelsea midfielder worked as assistant manager to Roberto Di Matteo at MK Dons and West Brom, winning promotion from the Championship with the latter. He then worked with Di Matteo at Chelsea, winning both the Champions League and the FA Cup.
Having assisted Guus Hiddink during the Dutchman’s second caretaker stint last season, Newton is now the club’s loan technical coach, responsible for the Blues’ battery of talent out on loan.
The likes of Tammy Abraham, Izzy Brown and Kasey Palmer all made a major impact in the Championship this season, while Bertrand Traore and Andreas Christensen have made a big impact in major leagues on the continent.