Sunderland look to be closing on the appointment of Derek McInnes as their new manager.
The Echo understands that the Black Cats have begun discussions with Aberdeen over a compensation package, likely to be in the realms of £1 million.
McInnes has been on holiday in America but is back from the UK and Martin Bain has followed up his interest following a glowing reference from Walter Smith.
The Dandies have been braced for an approach for their manager for some time and it could soon be up to McInnes whether he wants to take the job.
Sunderland face a great deal of uncertainty following their relegation from the Premier League, but with a number of key players departing Pittodrie this summer, McInnes may feel he has taken the club as far as he can following three consecutive second placed finishes.
The prospect of proving his managerial abilities in the Championship and turning around a club of Sunderland's size is major draw, and the bumper sale of Jordan Pickford to Everton could boost his transfer kitty.