Sunderland's search for a new manager has entered a third week with Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom a leading candidate.
The Black Cats are yet to establish their number one choice for the post and are thought to be keen to speak to more potential bosses before making their move.
Chief Executive Martin Bain has begun the interview process in recent days, with discussions taking place in Manchester and Leeds.
Academy boss Jimmy Sinclair is involved as the Black Cats weigh up a potentially defining appointment for the club.
Heckingbottom is thought to be interested in the role having taken Barnsley from the foot of League One to promotion and a Football League trophy before establishing the side in the second tier.
He spent four years at Sunderland as a youngster but never made a senior appearance.