Will Sunderland really hire a man who nearly got Newcastle United relegated from the Premier League? Nathan Jones and Nigel Clough are better options.

Steve McClaren has been in touch with Sunderland about potentially replacing Jack Ross at the Stadium of Light, according to the Northern Echo, with a former Middlesbrough and Newcastle United manager apparently keen on a return to the North East.

The likes of Phil Parkinson, Gary Rowett, Gareth Ainsworth, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Mark Robins have all been linked with the vacant post so far, just two days after Ross bit the bullet after a sluggish start to the League One season. The report adds that Nathan Jones and Nigel Clough, of Stoke and Burton, are under consideration too.

But McClaren is a new, and somewhat controversial, name in the frame.

The former England manager dragged bitter rivals Newcastle into a relegation battle three years ago, eventually being replaced by Rafa Benitez. It’s fair to say he isn’t remembered fondly on Tyneside.

McClaren also started his managerial career down the road at Middlesbrough all the way back in 2001, leading the club to their first ever major honour with the 2004 League Cup before reaching the UEFA Cup final two years later.

Those glory days are a long time ago now, however, with McClaren’s reputation having taken a battering during ill-fated spells at Nottingham Forest, Wolfsburg and QPR, not to mention Newcastle.

He’s never coached in the third tier either. And even though his experience could prove invaluable to Sunderland, there are surely plenty of more suitable options.

The report adds that Sunderland-born Nigel Clough and Stoke City manager Nathan Jones, who both have fine track records in League One, are other options.

In other news, Report: Leeds think they can finally sign Daniel James for £12m this summer