WHILE Sunderland’s search for a new manager rumbles on into yet another week of Will (Still) he won’t he, with a range of progressively less impressive names being bandied about in what feels like hour-by-hour updates, there has been some interest in our players from other clubs.

It’s easy to assume that the likes of Brentford and Crystal Palace are merely vultures circling Jobe Bellingham mainly because his club has no manager in place, with the air of uncertainty howling around Wearside perhaps enough to unsettle the prodigious young talent.

But the truth is that Sunderland’s head coach situation has little to do with the playing squad.

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Sunderland’s retained list was decided and announced without any input from a head coach or a manager, and the summer transfer shortlist will have been drawn up by now. Contact will have been made with various players who will be out of contract this summer, and there will be movement in the market without the need to have a manager in post by this time.

Does that mean I’m relaxed about not having a manager? Well, no, not really. Just because a model has been created whereby a manager, or a head coach, has little to no input in the players brought in – it doesn’t mean I, or by extension any Sunderland supporter, should be happy about it.

It’s a bit weird isn’t it? The person at the football club who should know the most about the squad is the head coach, or the manager. They know what kind of players they need for the system they plan to play. They know that a squad needs balance but that they also options to change from a certain way of playing against different opponents.

Sunderland’s model is different. The manager has little to no say about any of that. The squad is the squad and, while there’s one exception in the shape of Bradley Dack - a Tony Mowbray signing that made little sense at the time, let alone now - his utter failure at the club will be enough for the powers that be not to make the same mistake again.

There is definitely the feeling that the managerial search and our player recruitment this summer is on two discrete tracks and it’s anyone’s guess if a manager will be in before our first summer signing.

If a manager has little influence on incomings, he’ll not have any say over outgoings, which brings us back to Jobe, who has been linked with an £18-20m move to Palace or Brighton.

Both clubs have had demonstrable success in recruiting talent from the Championship, most recently with Palace’s signing of Adam Wharton for a fee approaching £22m.

And it is the Wharton signing particularly that will strengthen Sunderland’s case for getting something in the £20m range for a player they only paid £2m for a year ago.

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Jobe was a bright spot in a disappointing season for Sunderland, and while he is clearly an inexperienced player, the flashes of brilliance we’ve seen, paired with the decent goals and assists return, mean that it would not be surprising if a club were to pay handsomely for his services.

If Jobe leaves, and Jack Clarke is also sold for a big fee, then hypothetically the club could make at the very least £20m from two players once you consider sell-on fees.

That money should be made available, immediately, for new signings.