DAVE Challinor is not under consideration to become Sunderland's next head coach - and neither is Stephen Robinson.

Stockport boss Challinor and St Mirren manager Robinson have both been heavily linked with the Black Cats, but neither are in Sunderland's thinking as club bosses continue the process of finding a replacement for Michael Beale.

Former Hartlepool boss Challinor is very well thought of in the game and has won three promotions - the latest of which came this season in League Two - but he's not yet managed a game in League One and doesn't have Championship experience.

Robinson has done a fine job with St Mirren, who qualified for Europe this season for the first time since 1987.

But neither boss is in contention for the vacancy at the Stadium of Light.

Former AZ head coach Pascal Jensen is known to have been assessed by Sunderland's hierarchy but other candidates remain in the running to replace Michael Beale.

Two candidates who have long been in Sunderland's thinking are close to finalising new jobs elsewhere. Will Still is set to take charge at Lens after Franck Haise's move to Nice was confirmed on Thursday morning. Fresh reports say Still's Lens appointment will be finalised at the weekend or early next week.

Rene Maric, meanwhile, looks increasingly likely to step up from Bayern Munich's Under-19s and take up a role in Vincent Kompany's first team staff.

One manager who is still available is Liam Rosenior. The former Hull City boss spoke to Birmingham City about the vacancy at St Andrew's but is said to be holding out for a Championship job.

Birmingham have instead tonight appointed Tottenham's senior assistant coach Chris Davies as their new boss, replacing former Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray after he stepped down from the role due to illness.