Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is on the shortlist to be Sunderland's next manager - and the Echo understands he wants the job at the Stadium of Light.
McInnes emerged as the leading candidate on Wednesday and the Echo understands he is one of the names being seriously considered for the job.
The Aberdeen boss is currently preparing for the Scottish Cup Final against Celtic on Saturday, but the Echo understands he has privately intimated he would like to move to Wearside this summer.
McInnes is the strong favourite with bookmakers, although Sunderland are considering a number of names for the post with Paul Lambert also one of the names believed to be under consideration should he leave Wolves this summer.
McInnes has built a strong reputation north of the border having led Aberdeen to three consecutive second place finishes in the top tier of Scottish football.
He has managed it this year despite the return of Rangers to the top flight, and also won the Scottish League with the Dandies in 2014.
They face Celtic in the Scottish Cup final this weekend.
McInnes has worked as a manager in the Championship once before, taking over Bristol City boss in 2011. An eight game unbeaten run saw them escape the drop but he left a year later with the team four points adrift of safety.
He also managed St Johnstone between 2011 and 2013, winning the Scottish First Division.
Walter Smith, said to have offered advice to Black Cats Chief Executive Martin Bain on the appointment, is a firm admirer, and backed him to take the Rangers job after Mark Warburton's departure in March.
Rangers instead went for Pedro Caixinha.
Previous favourites Nigel Pearson and Kevin Phillips have drifted with Pearson understood to be on a three man shortlist for the currently vacant Middlesbrough job.
Garry Monk, an early favourite among fans, is set to sign a new deal to keep him at Elland Road on Friday while Crystal Palace are understood to want Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic to replace Sam Allardyce.
Jokanovic had been linked with the Sunderland job following David Moyes' resignation but the Echo understands he won't be heading to Wearside.