According to The Mirror, Sunderland are considering an approach for Manchester City's Patrick Vieira, should Dick Advocaat leave the club.
The Black Cats remain winless in the Premier League after a dismal start to the Premier League season, with Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Manchester United leaving Sunderland rooted to the bottom of the table.
With just two points from seven Premier League games, current boss Dick Advocaat is already under some pressure, even after keeping the club in the top flight last season.
The Daily Mirror report that there is a chance that the Dutchman could quit the club after their torrid start to the campaign, and Sunderland are starting to consider potential replacements, in case Advocaat does leave.
The report states that Manchester City's reserve and academy team manager Patrick Vieira would be a top target for the Black Cats if Advocaat leaves, having gained a promising reputation during his time at City.
The former Arsenal midfielder, who won three Premier League titles during his time with the Gunners, is now carving out a coaching career with City, but a move to manage a first team elsewhere could be very appealing to the 39-year-old.
A move for Vieira would be a surprise considering his lack of managerial experience, but having failed with the appointments of Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet and potentially Advocaat too, Sunderland need to have some continuity in the dugout - and seeing Vieira as a long-term appointment could be Ellis Short's solution; but Advocaat must of course leave first, which is far from a certainty at this stage.