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Sunderland seek to make the numbers work in search for new manager

sam-allardyce

Sunderland chairman Ellis Short's pursuit of the man to succeed head coach Dick Advocaat could ultimately come down to hard cash.

The Black Cats have identified Sam Allardyce as the leading candidate for the vacancy created when the 68-year-old Dutchman prematurely called time on his brief stay on Wearside over the weekend.

However, while they do have a back-up plan should the 60-year-old former West Ham boss resist their overtures – and the noises coming from those close to him have been mixed in recent days – money could yet determine which way they go.

Press Association Sport understands Short, rather than sporting director Lee Congerton, is driving the recruitment process – with the future of the man employed to provide the head coach with the players to establish the Black Cats as a fixture in the Barclays Premier League uncertain to say the least.

Congerton is understood to be working his notice after growing frustrated with the financial restrictions under which he has had to work, and both the funds the chairman feels able to allocate for squad strengthening in January and the retention or otherwise of Congerton's role could be significant factors for the new incumbent.

Former Sunderland defender Allardyce has already attracted support from the club's fans, but he indicated he wanted to take time out of the game following his exit from Upton Park at the end of last season.

He is currently in Spain but will return later this month, when he is scheduled to embark upon a tour to promote his autobiography.

SEE MORE: Sunderland to cast the net wide in search for Dick Advocaat’s successor.

Allardyce, who will inevitably be linked with most Premier League jobs when they become available given his track record, can perhaps afford to pick and choose and has already indicated that when he does return, it will be for the right opportunity and not necessarily the next one.

Burnley's Sean Dyche, who has publicly distanced himself from the opening at the Stadium of Light, is also held in high regard by the hierarchy on Wearside but his appointment would involve a significant compensation package and that may not work in his favor.

David Moyes and Nigel Pearson, the latter of whom is also available after leaving Leicester, are not understood to be among the names at the top of Short's list, and it may be that, should the men the American wants prove unavailable, he may have to become creative and look at up-and-coming candidates such as MK Dons' Karl Robinson and Burton's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who might prove less costly to attract.

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