Favourite for the England job Sam Allardyce appears to be battling it out with former Black Cats boss Steve Bruce for the national job.
The pair have both held talks with the Football Association over the vacant manager's job in the wake of Roy Hodgson's resignation after the humiliating defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.
Jurgen Klinsmann and Eddie Howe are also both in contention but Sunderland boss Allardyce and Bruce look to have stolen a march in the hunt for the next national boss after holding talks with FA chiefs.
But how do the duo - who both have strong links to Sunderland - compare?
Sam Allardyce, Sunderland AFC manager:
Age: 61, Dudley
Playing career: The former centre-back played almost 500 matches over his 20-year playing career, appearing for Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland, Millwall, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Preston North End, West Brom and Limerick.
Managerial career (Win percentage in brackets): Allardyce started his managerial career as player manager of Limerick before joining Preston North End as caretaker manager (25%).
Allardyce has since had spells with Blackpool (43.1%), Notts County (38.6%), Bolton Wanderers (41.2%), Newcastle United (33.3%), Blackburn Rovers (35.6%), West Ham United (37.6%) and is currently boss of Sunderland (29%).
Allardyce, one of the pioneers of sports science, steered Sunderland to Premier League survival in 2015-16 against all the odds and is hugely popular with supporters.
Has managed nearly 1,000 matches and played in more than 500 in the English leagues during his playing career. Won promotion to the top flight with Bolton in 2001 and he also took West Ham back to the Premier League in 2012 at the first time of asking.
Was sacked by Newcastle after just eight months in charge and axed by Rovers in December 2010 but has since enjoyed success with West Ham and Sunderland. Has never been relegated from the Premier League during his managerial career.
International honours: Never played for England and has no experience of managing a national side but has managed Bolton Wanderers in Europe.
Allardyce transformed Bolton's fortunes and the club reached the round of 32 in the UEFA Cup in 2005-06.
His achievements at Bolton, where he also reached a League Cup final, resulted in him first being touted as a candidate for the England job in 2006.
Steve Bruce, Hull City manager:
Age: 55. Born Corbridge, Northumberland.
Playing career: Former defender Bruce played for Gillingham, Norwich City, Manchester United, Birmingham City and Sheffield United. Bruce played in 926 games as player during his career.
Bruce won silverware with Manchester United, 12 trophies in total including three Premier League titles and the FA Cup.
Managerial career (Win percentage in brackets): Bruce has a wealth of managerial experience having managed Sheffield United (40%), Huddersfield Town (37.9%), Wigan Athletic (37.5% first spell, 33.8% second), Crystal Palace 61.1%), Birmingham City (37%), Sunderland (29.6%) and Hull City, where he has managed since 2012.
He has taken charge of a total of 784 games.
Bruce led Hull to the Premier League in his first season with the club and the following year, in 2014, he took Hull City to the FA Cup Final. Overall, he boasts a 40.8 win percentage with Hull.
They were relegated under his watch but he won promotion back to the Premier League with Hull last season after winning the Championship Play-Off final.
International honours: Played one game for England B but never played for the full England side.
No experience of managing a national side.
Eddie Howe, the 38-year-old Bournemouth manager, has also been discussed as a youthful candidate, while German great Jurgen Klinsmann appears to be the last overseas option standing.
The FA's interview process began last week and, with a board meeting scheduled for Thursday, events could be building to a head.
The new manager's first match will be a Wembley friendly on September 1, three days before the World Cup qualifier in Slovakia.