Paul Cook, the Wigan Athletic manager, and Alex Rae, the former Sunderland midfielder, have replaced Chris Wilder of Sheffield United as the new favourite to be the Mackems' next manager, with respective bookmakers Paddy Power and Sky Bet.
Wilder had long been odds on for the role, which was vacated by Chris Coleman upon Sunderland's relegation from the Championship.
However, reports claim Wilder is ready is ready to commit his future to Sheffield United, where boardroom disharmony had called his future into question.
Now the market has opened up again, with Cook (5/6) leading the Paddy Power betting - ahead of Wilder (2/1) and McCarthy (6/1) - and Rae (5/2) the Sky Bet front runner - ahead of Wilder (3/1) and Jack Ross of St Mirren (9/2).
Cook, who signed a new at Wigan last week, is only 9/1 with Sky Bet, behind Michael Appleton, the Leicester City coach (7/1).
Rae spent five years at Sunderland and was part of the Mackems side that won promotion to the Premier League in 1999.
Now 48, the Glaswegian has experienced two spells as a manger, both in his native Scotland - with Dundee and St Mirren - where he boasts a win percentage rate of 43.51.
Who will get the Sunderland job?