Sunderland face uncertain future after Sam Allardyce holds England talks

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce
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Sam Allardyce's Sunderland future is increasingly uncertain after the Black Cats boss was pictured in talks with the FA over the England vacancy.

Allardyce returned from Sunderland's pre-season training camp in Austria earlier this week with club sources, as well as those close to the Black Cats boss, insisting it was for a meeting with a transfer target on Monday afternoon.

But there was widespread speculation that Allardyce had also flown back to the UK for talks with the FA - a belief understood to have been shared by some in the Sunderland camp out in the Alps.

That now appears to have been the case after Allardyce was yesterday pictured outside the Cheshire home of FA vice-chairman David Gill.

Gill, along with FA technical boss Dan Ashworth and chief executive Martin Glenn, will decide who succeeds Roy Hodgson as the next England manager.

But ex-Manchester United chairman Gill is one of the most influential figures at the FA after spending more than a decade alongside Sir Alex Ferguson, who has backed Allardyce's credentials for the role.

There is no guarantee that Allardyce will get the job, with Bournemouth's Eddie Howe and Hull's Steve Bruce also in the frame, but the 61-year-old remains the firm bookies favourite.

Sunderland are yet to publicly comment on England's interest in Allardyce, but the Black Cats face the prospect of planning contingencies for a seventh manager in less than five years.

Former Manchester United boss David Moyes would be an immediate front-runner after Sunderland have approached the Scot about taking charge on two previous occasions.

But the uncertainty over Allardyce doesn't help Sunderland's preparations in the transfer market either, with the Black Cats yet to bring in a fresh face so far this summer.