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Sunderland next manager odds: Clear odds-on favourite emerges, Premier League legend linked

General view inside the stadium prior the Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester City at Stadium of Light on March 5, 2017 in Sunderland, England.

Sunderland sacked manager Simon Grayson last month.

General view inside the stadium prior the Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester City at Stadium of Light on March 5, 2017 in Sunderland, England.

Sunderland's miserable form saw them draw 3-3 with Bolton Wanderers last month – and that proved to be Simon Grayson's final game in charge.

The Black Cats' shambolic defending and crippling home form was on show again against Bolton, and just five minutes after the final whistle at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland announced the sacking of manager Grayson, just four months after prising him away from Preston North End.

Grayson's league record for Sunderland ended with one win in 15 games and 30 goals conceded, and whilst his reign barely got started, most fans feel that it was the right decision.

Caretakers Robbie Stockdale and Billy McKinlay oversaw the recent 1-0 defeat at rivals Middlesbrough, but McKinlay has since left for West Ham United, and it's unlikely that somebody as inexperienced as Stockdale will land the job permanently.

Paul Heckingbottom manager of Barnsley during the pre season friendly at Oakwell Stadium between Barnsley and Huddersfield Town on July 22, 2017 in Barnsley, England.

Bookmakers have been offering odds on Grayson's successor as Sunderland chase yet another new manager – and here are some of the main names in the frame tonight with Sky Bet.

Paul Heckingbottom: 1/3

A big mover in recent days, Barnsley boss Heckingbottom is now the odds-on favourite at an incredibly-short 1/3. The 40-year-old has won just shy of 33% of his games in charge of the Tykes since landing the job permanently in the summer of 2016, and has earned plaudits for his work developing young players. Now the clear favourite for the job, ex-Sunderland man Heckingbottom could be in line for a return.

Aitor Karanka: 3/1

Former Middlesbrough boss Karanka has been the favourite for the Sunderland job for some time now, but has slipped to second favourite tonight at 3/1. The Spaniard hasn't returned to management since leaving Boro in March, and appears to be waiting for the right job. Having won promotion from the Championship in 2016, Karanka would be quite the coup for Sunderland, but a move is looking less and less likely.

New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira is seen on the sideline during a MLS soccer match between New York City FC and Orlando City SC at the Orlando City Stadium on March 5, 2017 in...New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira

Ally McCoist: 8/1

A name regularly featured in the odds since Grayson's exit, McCoist is still one of the frontrunners at 8/1. The Scot worked with Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain at Rangers, and a reunion could still be targeted, given McCoist is out of work. The 55-year-old is a former Sunderland striker and could return to Wearside, despite no experience away from Rangers.

Patrick Vieira: 20/1

Whilst an outsider for the job, links to New York City FC manager Patrick Vieira are somewhat interesting. The Frenchman, a former Premier League legend with Arsenal having captained the famous Invincibles side, Vieira has been making steps into management, winning more than 43% of his games on charge of the MLS side - and he is 20/1 for a shock return to England.

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