WILL Still is keen to return to the dugout this summer on the back of his recent Reims exit but could now have the option to stay in France, with Lens showing an interest in the 31-year-old.

It's thought Still would prefer a move to England, having previously made clear his desire to manage in the UK.

The highly-rated young coach is understood to have spoken with Sunderland in recent weeks, with the Black Cats' search for a new head coach this week moving beyond the 100-day mark.

Still is known to have been a target for the job back in December after Tony Mowbray's exit but at that stage was still in work with Reims.

He's still very much a live contender for the Stadium of Light vacancy this time around, though at this stage it's not known how many other candidates remain in the frame. Black Cats bosses have spoken to a range of potential candidates in recent months, whittling down the shortlist to replace Michael Beale.


Still - who remains odds-on favourite with the bookies to be the next Sunderland boss - has new representatives having linked up with Unique Sports Group, a leading firm that represents a string of Premier League stars.

Whether that switch was made with a move to the UK in mind is unclear, but he has previously talked openly about his desire to manage in England.

He said earlier this year: “I would work for a Championship team without a problem.

"What I’ve now understood, I’ve now realised, is how important people are. And how important finding the right place to be is going to be for my career.

"If there’s a Championship club that’s ambitious, that wants to work in the right way and be open and honest about things, and really try and push to get somewhere, then I would love to do that."

Still is said to have held talks with Norwich earlier this month after the exit of David Wagner, but the Canaries are now set to appoint Johannes Hoff Thorup as their new boss.

For all Still has stressed his desire to move to the UK, he could have the option to stay in France this summer. L’Equipe say Lens have lined Still up as a possible replacement for Franck Haise, who looks set to head for Nice to replace Francesco Farioli, the former Sunderland target who is now Ajax head coach.

Meanwhile, the future of another Sunderland target, Rene Maric, looks to set to be resolved imminently after Vincent Kompany's Bayern Munich unveiling. Maric, currently in charge of Bayern's Under-19s, is in line for a promotion to join the first team staff, according to reports in Germany.

Bo Svensson, another head coach linked with Sunderland previously, took charge of Union Berlin in the Bundesliga earlier this month.

Former Young Boys boss Raphael Wicky was this week linked with the Sunderland job. He's also been linked with the vacancy at Burnley after Kompany's exit.