Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom is 'flattered' by speculation linking him with the vacant managerial position at Sunderland, but says he has had no contact regarding the role.
The 40-year-old is highly-rated in the game after a stunning start to his career at Barnsley.
The former defender spent four years on Wearside as a youngster but never made a senior appearance.
He said: “We had it last season and it’s part and parcel, when things are going well that’s what you want, if next January there’s X, Y, Z clubs linked with our players then it means we’re doing something right.
“It’s flattering in that respect that things are going well and you can do a job, but other than that, that is it.
“People in the north east who I already know are the first to have spoken to me about it, and that’s as far as it goes.
“Other than being asked about it now, it’s not even in my head so that’s as far as it goes.”