Sunderland could turn to Nigel Pearson and Kevin Phillips if current Black Cats boss Phil Parkinson continues to falter in the promotion race, according to the Sun (22 November, page 61).
A change in ownership usually results in uncertainty on the touchline and, after the Wearside giants dropped yet more points on Saturday, Parkinson’s future appears more uncertain than at any point since he replaced Jack Ross a year ago.
Sunderland have lost three of their last four games – including a FA Cup round one defeat at home to fourth-tier Mansfield Town – slipping out of the play-off places as a result.
According to the Sun, Parkinson could be the first high-profile casualty of an impending, and long-awaited, takeover.
Especially with a coach of Pearson’s ilk out of work and looking for a job.
The former Leicester, Hull City and Southampton boss has not taken on a League One job since 2008. But the chance to awaken the sleeping giant that is Sunderland should appeal to a traditionalist like the straight-talking 57-year-old.
The report adds that, if Pearson was handed the reigns, he would likely bring club legend Kevin Phillips back to the Stadium of Light, having worked with the former striker during their Championship title-winning season with Leicester in 2015.
Pearson, who was last seen at Watford, has a remarkable track record when it comes to building a squad greater than the sum of their parts and ensuring that talented players realise their potential.
How Sunderland could do with that.