The Sunderland Echo believes that Paul Clement is the leading candidate to be handed the Sunderland managerial job at the end of the season.
The Real Madrid assistant manager has reportedly been identified by Lee Congerton as his top target and will be offered the job once it becomes available.
Although Dick Advocaat is currently in charge it is reportedly 'nearly certain' that he will not be considered as a long-term option for the side and will be let go at the end of the season, regardless of whether he keeps them in the Premier League or not.
Sunderland are looking to build for the future and they seem to believe that Clement is the best man to fit in with their current system.
The Black Cats operate with a sporting director and they want a training ground coach, rather than an all-controling manager, with responsibilities - especially in the transfer window - shared around the club's backroom staff.
Clement, it is believed, would buy into this approach and he already has a relationship with Congerton, having worked with the sporting director at Chelsea earlier in his career.
The Sunderland Echo also suggests that the backroom structure at the Stadium of Light means that West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce, who is a more old-fashioned manager, is unlikely to take charge, despite reports on Sky Sports suggesting that he is one of the leading candidates to land the job.