Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has seen his odds cut and is the new favourite with bookmakers to be named Sunderland manager.
Mick McCarthy had been the early favourite following Chris Coleman's sacking on Sunday but Wilder as emerged as the new frontrunner, with bookmakers at least.
No managerial appointment is expected, however, until the Stewart Donald-led consortium has had its takeover confirmed by the EFL, a decision which could take weeks.
Wilder has been a strong contender since it was confirmed Coleman had been sacked following relegation from the Championship.
Boardroom unrest at Bramall Lane has seen 50-year-old Wilder warn in recent days he could walk away if there is no quick resolve to the situation.
Revealed! Why Chris Wilder is new favourite for Sunderland job and what is happening at Sheffield United
Wilder's odds with Sky Bet have been cut to 8/11 and to 5/4 with Bet Victor to make him the favourite with book bookmakers.
Former Sunderland boss McCarthy is priced at 2/1, with Kevin Phillips 7/1 and Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook 8/1.
No approach for ex-Sunderland duo as Stewart Donald takeover awaits EFL approval
Despite leading his hometown club to the League One title last season, Wilder has grown frustrated by the boardroom battle going on at the Blades, admitting difficulties between co-owners HRH Prince Abdullah binMusa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Kevin McCabe are threatening to make his position untenable.
Prince Abdullah, who acquired a 50 per cent stake in United five years ago, has launched a takeover attempt and the issue shows no sign of being resolved soon.
Wilder is a manager whose stock is high. He achieved success at Oxford United, so is well known to prospective new Sunderland owner Stewart Donald, who is a fan and sponsor.