Paul Clement has said his goodbyes to Real Madrid, with Derby County still confident of naming him as their new head coach next week.
Clement leaves his position as Madrid assistant this weekend after the dismissal of manager Carlo Ancelotti and tweeted: “It has been an honour to have worked with Carlo at the Number 1 Club in the World. Thank you to all the Players, Staff and Fans. Hala Madrid”
And despite speculation linking Sunderland with a late move for Clement, the 43-year-old remains likely to be confirmed as Steve McClaren’s successor at Derby early next week.
Sunderland have been considering Clement as a long-term head coach for several months after building an impressive reputation at Madrid.
But while sporting director Lee Congerton is an admirer of Clement, the impact made by Dick Advocaat in keeping Sunderland in the Premier League has encouraged the Black Cats to look for a more experienced successor.
After six managers in the space of five years - plus three successive near brushes with relegation - Sunderland realise an experienced head may be required to bring some stability to the club.
Reports in the Midlands insist the Rams remain confident about landing Clement to replace the sacked McClaren
However, after Advocaat’s exit earlier this week, there was speculation about Sunderland attempting to hijack Derby’s move for Clement.
Reports in the Midlands insist the Rams remain confident about landing Clement to replace the sacked McClaren though.
Ex-England manager McClaren has been one of the names linked with Sunderland over recent days.
But while McClaren would be a more natural fit for Sunderland’s head coach / director of football model than the likes of Sam Allardyce, he is not thought to be among the leading contenders for the position.
McClaren continues to be linked with the vacancy at Newcastle too and the Magpies are understood to be far keener suitors, despite being rejected by the former Middlesbrough boss earlier this season.
As reported, Sunderland are not expecting to make an imminent appointment to replace Advocaat.