League One Sunderland are reportedly keen on snatching Paul Cook away from Championship strugglers Wigan Athletic.

Sunderland have been refused permission to speak to Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook, according to the Chronicle.

After sacking Jack Ross on Tuesday last week, the Black Cats are scouring the market for a new manager with owner Stewart Donald prioritising a coach who has a proven track record in League One, according to TEAMtalk.

Cook certainly fits the bill, having won the third tier title with Wigan Athletic as recently as 2018. His Latics team finished with 98 points to their name with Will Grigg, who has struggled badly since joining Sunderland in January, netting 19 times in 43 games en route to the title.

But The Chronicle reports that Sunderland have been denied the chance to speak to Cook with Wigan obviously hoping to keep hold of a man who has been in charge at the DW Stadium since May 2017.

The gravel-voiced Scouser might not be to everyone’s cup of tea but Wigan fans, reacting on Twitter to reports that he was on Sunderland’s radar, made it clear that they wanted Cook to stay and drag the 2013 FA Cup winners away from the Championship relegation zone.

And claims that the Latics have blocked Sunderland from speaking to 52-year-old suggests that the second-tier outfit have no intention of letting him go.

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