Sunderland owner Ellis Short has launched the search for a ninth manager in eight-and-a-half years and a sixth in little more than four after David Moyes’ exit from the Stadium of Light.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the possible contenders.
Former Sunderland striker Phillips is currently the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Moyes. The 43-year-old became a fans’ favourite on Wearside during his playing days, firing the Black Cats into the Premier League in 1999 and winning the Golden Boot the season after. Phillips has worked as an assistant coach at Leicester and Derby since hanging up his boots.
Pearson has been out of the game since October last year, when his brief spell in charge at Derby came to an end in unedifying fashion, just as his time at Leicester had done in June 2015. However, he built his reputation with the Foxes and has been credited with laying the foundation for their remarkable Premier League title charge, and he has already admitted his interest in any vacancy at Middlesbrough, where he is a former skipper.
Monk guided Leeds to the brink of the Sky Bet Championship play-offs last season to restore his reputation after his exit from Swansea. He is out of contract next month, but reports from West Yorkshire have suggested he could be about to commit his future to the Elland Road club with a series of suitors waiting in the wings.
Spaniard Karanka parted company with Boro in March having seen the bandwagon which took the club into the Premier League at the end of last season stall and start rolling backwards. A disciple of Jose Mourinho, he is a coach who bases his method on organisation, something Sunderland have patently lacked this season.
Former Manchester United assistant Giggs has made no secret of his desire to manage in his own right and his name has been linked with a series of clubs in recent weeks. He may lack experience, but he would bring back the “Wow!” factor Roy Keane gave the Black Cats during his spell at the Stadium of Light.
Dyche is a man who has been admired on Wearside from afar from some time for the job he has done in guiding Burnley into the top flight and establishing them there. However, it may be wishful thinking to suggest he would swap life with the Clarets for an admittedly bigger club, but one with multiple and complex problems.