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Report: Sunderland's bid for McCoist and Smith hits snag, Heckingbottom to be offered major pay rise

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.

Sunderland are reportedly moving for Barnsley's Paul Heckingbottom rather than Ally McCoist.

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.

According to The Sun, Sunderland are set to offer Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom a huge pay rise after hitting snags in their pursuit of Ally McCoist and Walter Smith.

The Black Cats decided to sack manager Simon Grayson last month, having won just three times in 18 games in all competitions this season.

Co-caretaker manager Billy McKinlay has even left the club for West Ham United, leaving Robbie Stockdale in charge – and two weeks on from Grayson's exit, Sunderland are still attempting to find a new boss.

Rangers manager, Walter Smith and Ally McCoist, assistant manager celebrate after winning the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Rugby Park on May 15, 2011 in Kilmarnock, Scotland..Walter Smith and Ally McCoist

The Sun now report that their hopes of landing Ally McCoist – alongside Walter Smith – have hit a snag, meaning that Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom is the new primary target for the job.

It's noted that chief executive Martin Bain worked with McCoist and Smith at Rangers, but the chances of them reuniting at the Stadium of Light have diminished.

McCoist was Smith's assistant at Rangers before taking over as manager in 2011, boasting a 72% win rate during his time in charge at Ibrox, with most of his time spent in the lower reaches of Scottish football.

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.

Now, the attention turns to Heckingbottom, who has won just shy of 33% of his games since taking full-time charge of Barnsley in June 2016, helping nurture a host of young players at Oakwell.

A former Sunderland youngster, Heckingbottom will allegedly be offered a pay rise of around seven times his current earnings, and whilst Barnsley will attempt to stand firm, such a huge increase may be too good to turn down for Heckingbottom - and it may take that kind of offer to tempt him away from his hometown club.

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