Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain says he is keen to appoint a new manager 'as quickly as possible' - but is determined to get the right man.
Bain is in charge of the finding a replacement for David Moyes, who stepped down as the Black Cats' boss two weeks ago today.
A host of names have been linked with the job, with Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes and Preston North End chief Simon Grayson currently leading the betting.
And Bain - who is expected to hold interviews with candidates this week - says he is working hard behind the scenes to get the right man in place.
Speaking to safc.com, Bain said: “The recruitment process is ongoing.
“Pre-season is an important period at any football club so naturally we are keen to conclude things as quickly as possible, whilst being mindful of the need to make the right appointment."
Sunderland also announced they will take on Bury at Gigg Lane on Friday, July 7 in their opening pre-season fixture.
The Black Cats will return to training on June 29 for initial fitness testing before the first team and the under-23s travel to Austria for a five-day training camp.
“Preparations for the new season are progressing well and our full plans for pre-season are close to being finalised," Bain added.
“The first team and the under 23s will spend a week together in Austria, which signals a much more joined up approach to the pre-season preparations.
"It is something that the club hasn’t done previously, so it will give the young players a great opportunity to train alongside their senior counterparts and experience the intensity required at first-team level."