Sunderland are set to appoint Chris Coleman as their new manager after he decided to step down after a successful five years in charge of the Wales national team.
The Wales Football Association had hoped to persuade Coleman to stay on to lead their challenge to qualify for the European Championships in 2020, but it is thought he has told them he wants to leave and his move to Sunderland should be confirmed in the next 24 hours.
Sunderland are bottom of the table, just six months after their relegation from the Premier League and sacked Simon Grayson last month after just 18 games in charge.
Grayson was appointed after the manager who took them down, David Moyes, resigned in May as he did not feel the club had the financial clout to challenge for an immediate return to the top flight.
Coleman is understood to have made his interest in the vacancy known earlier this week and Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain believes he has persuaded the former Coventry City and Fulham manager to leave Wales following their failure to qualify for the World Cup.
Despite their financial troubles, Sunderland are able to offer Coleman are far larger salary than the one he receives from the Football Association of Wales and he will now have to get to grips with the task of saving the club from a second successive relegation
Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill had already rejected an approach, while interest in Barnsley manager, Paul Heckingbottom, cooled because of Bain’s confidence Coleman wanted the job.
Coleman indicated he was considering signing a new contract to stay on Wales boss last week and has previously indicated he was keen to work on the continent rather than return to English football. However, he is attracted by the prospect of rebuilding Sunderland after years of decline.
Sunderland are looking for their ninth manager in the space of just six years and had a net spend of just under £2m in the summer transfer window, despite selling goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to Everton for £30m.
The club should also be benefiting from Premier League parachute payments, but these have been swallowed up by debt repayments.
Owner Ellis Short addressed supporters shortly after the departure of Grayson to admit the club is in crisis, but re-affirmed he is not actively looking to sell up after failing to find a buyer in the summer.