Former Aston Villa, Wolves and Norwich City boss Paul Lambert has re-emerged as a contender in the Sunderland managerial race.
Reports in the Midlands, where Lambert was last posted at Molineux, suggest the Scot’s name is being considered by Martin Bain, as the Black Cats chief executive looks to replace resigned former boss David Moyes.
In the days after the departure of Moyes, the Echo reported that Lambert was on the shortlist drawn up by Bain, with the help of Walter Smith, who attended the club’s final game of the Premier League season at Stamford Bridge.
But since then the trail seems to have gone dry in relation to the 47-year-old, with the likes of Aberdeen’s Derek McInnes, former favourite Kevin Phillips, Preston boss Simon Grayson, Burton manager Nigel Clough and out-of-work Nigel Pearson continuing to be linked.
The Echo understands that McInnes remains on holiday in Florida, with assistant manager Tony Docherty, but is due to return to the UK this week, with the Dons’ pre-season training starting in less than a fortnight, and their first competitive game, in the Europa League second qualifying round, early next month.
Compensation has been stated as an issue when it comes to McInnes, who is on around £300,000 per year at Pittodrie.
That could also prove to be a stumbling block for Grayson, who is under contract at Deepdale.
One major thing in Pearson, who missed out on the Middlesbrough job which was handed to SAFC target Garry Monk, and Lambert’s favour is the fact they are out of work.
And with budgets tight on Wearside this would certainly tick boxes for Bain, as he looks to do the right deal for Sunderland, in what is proving a very difficult managerial market.
Thanks to the links down south the odds on Lambert, who walked out of Wolves last month having lost a power struggle with super-agent Jorge Mendes, came down - with the former Borussia Dortmund, Motherwell and Celtic midfielder best priced at 25/1 but as short as 10/1 with others.
Phillips remains the favourite, with McInnes in second, followed by Grayson, Pearson, Stuart McCall and the man dubbed the ‘Polish Mourinho’ Czeslaw Michniewicz.