Sam Allardyce became the odds on favourite to be the next Sunderland manager on Tuesday night, but the man himself has confirmed he is set to quit football.
The 62-year-old sensationally told Crystal Palace bosses on Tuesday that he will quit Selhurst Park just a week after guiding them to safety and only five months after taking over.
He had a deal to run until 2019.
That news sparked excitement among the Sunderland fanbase who have longed for his return this season, with his odds accordingly slashed to 4/7. They are now rapidly drifting following his announcement.
However, a return to the Black Cats always seemed unlikely, with his future at the club last summer far from certain even before England came calling. Allardyce was understood to be unhappy with his transfer budget having led the side to safety and his protracted departure left a sour taste.
In a statement released on Tuesday night he confirmed that he will not be looking for any job in football.
He said: "I want to be able to savour life while I’m still relatively young and when I’m still relatively healthy enough to do all the things I want to do, like travel, spend more time with my family and grandchildren without the huge pressure that comes with being a football manager.
"This is the right time for me. I have no ambitions to take another job, I simply want to be able to enjoy all the things you cannot really enjoy with the 24/7 demands of managing any football club, let alone one in the Premier League.
"Steve Parish has been superb during our conversations today. I know it came as a shock to him that I would walk away but our discussions have been incredibly civilised with no recriminations and no fall-out.
"This is not about transfer targets, finances or anything along those lines. This is me taking the decision I believe is right for my family and myself.
"I would like to thank everybody for their messages of support since the news broke. I’ve no doubt I will miss management but I certainly have no regrets at this decision."
Sunderland's search for a new manager continues with a number of names seemingly falling out of contention on Tuesday.
Aitor Karanka is reported to have distanced himself from the vacancy while Garry Monk is set to trigger an automatic one year contract extension at Leeds United.