With Sunderland’s search for a new manager ongoing, it’s a surprise that it has taken this long for a certain Harry Redknapp to be linked with the role.
And according to Sunday edition of the Daily Star (page 44), the veteran tactician is indeed in the frame – but it appears that he is a long way from the top of Sunderland’s wishlist.
The Black Cats’ lack of funds means they could be forced in the direction of an unattached manager as they may struggle to pay the compensation required to free a coach from an existing contract.
Redknapp, then, fits the bill. The 70-year-old has been out of work since being sacked by Birmingham City eight games into the season.
Though the former Tottenham boss demonstrated as recently as the spring that he still has what it takes to make an impact at this level, taking over a Birmingham side seemingly destined for the drop and managing to engineer a turnaround that culminated in their final-day survival.
It is understood, however, that Redknapp is some way down Sunderland’s pecking order. The Sunderland Echo report that Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom is the club’s first choice.
Though he is already in employment, Heckingbottom is on a rolling contract which means the compensation fee required to take him from Barnsley may be within Sunderland’s budget.
The highly-rated coach is 30 years Redknapp’s junior and has only recently started to make his name in management. However, Sunderland will need to decide whether they want to build for the future or whether now is the time to embark upon a quick fix.
If Sunderland really wanted Redknapp, surely it would not have taken this long for links to emerge.