Report: Paul Heckingbottom interested in Sunderland job, but no approach from Black Cats yet as interviews begin

A general view of the stadium as players warm up ahead of the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Derby County at Stadium of Light on August 4, 2017 in Sunderland, England.

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom is reportedly interested in considering the Sunderland job.

Paul Heckingbottom manager of Barnsley looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Barnsley at Bramall Lane on August 19, 2017 in Sheffield, England.

According to a report from the Sunderland Echo, Paul Heckingbottom would be interested in considering the Sunderland job, but there has been no official approach for the Barnsley boss yet with the interview process already underway.

The Black Cats have still not found their replacement for Simon Grayson, having parted company with the former Preston North End boss less than 20 minutes after their draw with fellow strugglers Bolton at the end of last month. 

A general view of the stadium as players warm up ahead of the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Derby County at Stadium of Light on August 4, 2017 in Sunderland, England.

The Sunderland Echo reports that the club have begun the interview process in the last few days, with the likes of Phil Neville, Ally McCoist and Aitor Karanka all being linked with the post - though it is not clear whether any of the trio have met with representatives from the club.

HITC Sport reported earlier this month that Barnsley boss Heckingbottom was on their radar having done a fantastic job at Oakwell.

Heckingbottom brought the Tykes out of League One and has established the club in the second tier despite losing a number of his best players since their return to the Championship.

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom applauds fans after winning the Sky Bet Championship match between Burton Albion and Barnsley at Pirelli Stadium on October 31, 2017 in Burton-upon-...

With Barnsley eight places ahead of the Black Cats in the table, the 40-year-old would be forgiven for thinking that the position at the Stadium of Light would be a step in the wrong direction.

However, the Sunderland Echo reports that Heckingbottom would be interested in the post - but Sunderland are yet to make an approach for the Barnsley coach, so it remains to be seen how serious his interest actually is. 

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