Sunderland manager latest: Ally McCoist a leading contender to replace Simon Grayson

Ally McCoist is a leading contender to be the next Sunderland manager.
Ally McCoist is a leading contender to be the next Sunderland manager.
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Former Sunderland striker Ally McCoist is the leading contender to be next manager, according to fresh reports.

The Scottish Sun claim former Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain, who held the same role at Rangers, is keen to bring McCoist to Wearside and they also claim Walter Smith could be heading to Sunderland in an advisory role.

Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain.

Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain.

The Echo understands the club is still assessing potential candidates for the role but an appointment is likely during the upcoming international break.

McCoist has always been among the early contenders to replace Simon Grayson and the Echo understands he was keen on the role in the summer.

Reports on Friday suggested the club's hierarchy have approached free agent Aitor Karanka over the possibility of taking charge but the Echo understands that is not the case.

Former Middlesbrough manager Karanka has been high in the odds ever since Grayson departed on Tuesday night and the Echo understands he would listen to what Sunderland had to say if approached.

The Black Cats are expected to plumb for an experienced manager given the current plight they find themselves in, with Sunderland third bottom of the Championship after 15 games.

That approach would rule out current bookies favourite John O'Shea with South Shields-born Phil Brown also among the bookies favourites having declared it would be a dream to land the SAFC job.

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom and Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst have also been linked.

Sunderland are searching for their ninth manager in six years.

Grayson was relieved of his duties at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night, within minutes of the final whistle following the 3-3 draw with Bolton Wanderers.

Joint caretakers Robbie Stockdale and Billy McKinlay will lead the side at the Riverside today.