Martin O’Neill set to become new manager of Sunderland

Dated  27/10/2009'On the line .. Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill joins Sunderland's Steve Bruce on the touch line at the Stadium of Light as they watch their teams in action in the Carling Cup 4th Round match, #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia
Dated 27/10/2009'On the line .. Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill joins Sunderland's Steve Bruce on the touch line at the Stadium of Light as they watch their teams in action in the Carling Cup 4th Round match, #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia

MARTIN O’Neill is inching ever closer to becoming the next Sunderland manager having already made it crystal clear behind the scenes that he wants the job.

If progress is made swiftly, then the Northern Irishman could be announced as Steve Bruce’s successor later today.

But the likelihood is that the final touches will be put to a long-term deal in time for the 59-year-old to be unveiled as Sunderland manager tomorrow.

Either way, he is expected to be Sunderland’s manager for the club’s game against Wolves this Sunday – though whether he takes his place in the dug-out or watches from the stands will be a decision for him.

Sunderland have moved with tremendous speed in the wake of Steve Bruce’s dismissal on Wednesday afternoon and should, as expected, they get their man in time for the Wolves game, it will have been a tremendous effort from both sides to sort out negotiations and paperwork in double quick time.

There was contact with Mark Hughes’ representatives in the wake of Bruce leaving the club as Sunderland considered their best options.

But O’Neill was always the club’s first choice and negotiations have been smoothed by the fact that Sunderland want O’Neill and O’Neill wants to come.

FULL STORY IN FRIDAY’S MAIL ...