The Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough has claimed that Sunderland made an approach for his services earlier this season.
Clough was linked with the Sunderland vacancy after Jack Ross's sacking.
But the role was ultimately filled by Phil Parkinson, who has overcome a difficult start to steer the Mackems back into promotion contention.
And speaking to the Totally Football Show this week, Clough suggested that he would have had an interest in joining the club for whom his father Brian played if the conditions matched those he is used to at Burton.
"No, [I'm] not actively seeking [a new job]," Clough said. "But if one comes up, and the chairman [Ben Robinson] said all along he wouldn’t stand in our way.
"He’s been brilliant over the years like that. But it’s got to be a reasonable job to tempt us away from here, because we work with one of the best chairmen in the country and we’re allowed to get on and do our jobs and manage.
"I think Sunderland made an inquiry when that vacancy came up a few months ago, but that didn’t go anywhere in the end and they got Phil Parkinson in. So it would take, I think, a situation like that.
"I think it would take other clubs maybe to recognise the situation in which we work here, which is tough, with the financial restrictions. But we keep trying to put good teams on the pitch that play football – it doesn’t always work, I have to say what, but we try and play good football."
Clough's Burton beat Sunderland at the Stadium of Light shortly after Parkinson's appointment.
And the 53-year-old can make it a double when the Mackems travel to Staffordshire in April.
His side currently trail fifth-placed Sunderland by seven positions and eight points with 16 games of the season remaining.
Clough has also managed Sheffield United and Derby County, in between two spells at Burton.
Sunderland fans - would Clough have been a good appointment for your side?
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