The pros and cons Derek McInnes will be weighing up as Sunderland close in on appointment

McInnes is closing in on Sunderland
McInnes is closing in on Sunderland
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With Sunderland finally making their move for Derek McInnes, the prolonged search for a new manager begins to reach a conclusion.

McInnes, who has been interested in making the switch since news of Sunderland's interest broke, seems likely to decide on a move to Wearside.

Nevertheless, it will not be an easy decision and at this stage, it is far from a mere formality.

So what are the pros and cons that he will be weighing up?

Potential & Autonomy

Sunderland may be reeling from relegation and burdened by financial difficulties, but McInnes will be aware of the potential.

Even despite cutbacks and sales, he will be operating with one of the biggest wage budgets in the league and while parachute payments are unlikely to reach his kitty, the sale of Jordan Pickford and some other first team players should leave him with enough wriggle room to put his mark on the squad. That will be tempting to a manager who has previously operated on even smaller budgets elsewhere.

Then, there is the tantalising possibility of being the man to get a major fanbase looking up again and packing out a 40,000 plus stadium.

He will know that it will not take a great deal to turn the Stadium of Light into a cauldron and for an ambitious manager on the rise, that will be difficult to turn down.

McInnes will also know that, as well obvious personal financial incentives, he will be working for a Chief Executive who showed while David Moyes was in charge that the manager will have significant autonomy over transfers and first team affairs. That will be important to a manager with a 'holistic' approach to taking charge of a club.

Celtic and the 'end of a cycle'?

Pedro Caixinha said that Aberdeen were coming to the end of a cycle earlier this season, sparking a furious backlash.

Recent events have suggested that he may have had a point. Key players such as Niall McGinn, Peter Pawlett and Ryan Jack are already leaving, with Johnny Hayes likely to be on his way.

Celtic are strengthening and Rangers are throwing a large amount of money at transfers as they look to try and bridge the gap.

The inescapable feeling is that McInnes has taken them as far as he can.

The counter to that argument is that Aberdeen have a significant new investor in Dave Cormack, look set to bring in Ryan Christie from Celtic, with McInnes already understood to have lined up a plethora of players to replace those departing.


Cormack's arrival also underlines what a stable operation Aberdeen have become, with no debt, a new stadium on the horizon, and a growing playing budget.

McInnes also has a Chairman who seemingly does not interfere in his work and who is desperate for him to stay.

At Sunderland, the biggest question mark at the club is over the ownership, with rumours of a takeover never far away over the last twelve months.

McInnes will no doubt be thinking, what happens if Ellis Short sells the club? Most new owners have shown they prefer to bring in their own manager soon after acquiring a club, potentially leaving the 45-year-old high and dry.

If Short doesn't sell, the question then becomes, how deep and prolonged will the cost-cutting measures be?

After one failure in the English leagues, McInnes will know he can ill afford another if he wants to forge a successful career in the Football League.

So what happens next?

Sunderland remain confident that they can finalise the appointment, and having taken so long to make a formal approach to Aberdeen, Bain will have done so only if quietly confident that he was in a position to secure a deal.

Sunderland represents a major opportunity for McInnes, by far the biggest club he will have managed in his career.

He will know that turning the situation around on Wearside would send his stock and reputation through the roof. That is likely to win out in the end, even if Bain will have some assuring to do.