THREE of Sunderland's Championship rivals remain managerless but appointments are said to be close, with Paul Heckingbottom - heavily linked with the Stadium of Light vacancy - in contention to take over elsewhere.

Heckingbottom was reportedly in line to be interviewed by Plymouth this week, with Argyle hoping to swiftly wrap-up talks and confirm an appointment.

The 44-year-old has been out of work since leaving Sheffield United in December and held initial talks with Sunderland as club bosses continue to weigh up their options in search of a new permanent head coach.

Plymouth are said to favour Championship experience, with Heckingbottom having managed Leeds in the second tier before leading the Blades to promotion in the 2022/23 season.

Plymouth tried and failed to tempt Liam Rosenior to Home Park after his Hull City sacking. The Tigers are still managerless but Tim Walter remains a big favourite to take charge at the MKM Stadium.

City's owner Acun Ilicali has held extensive talks with the German and although other clubs are said to have shown an interest in the former Stuttgart and Hamburg boss, Hull hope to have their top target in place by the end of the week.

Norwich City are also in the market for a new boss after David Wagner was sacked following their heavy play-off semi-final defeat to Leeds United. The Canaries have reportedly failed in a move for former Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper, with FC Nordsjaelland's Johannes Hoff Thorup now said to be interesting club bosses.

Norwich chiefs were said to be preparing to speak to candidates this week, with AZ Alkmaar boss Pascal Jansen another name to have been linked.

Arsenal assistant Carlos Cuesta was an early favourite but Norwich are now reportedly looking elsewhere. Will Still, another manager heavily linked with Sunderland, remains a low price at 4/1 to take charge at Carrow Road, but it's not clear at this stage whether he's on Norwich's list of candidates.

Still is a free agent having left Reims earlier this month. He's previously made clear his desire to manage in the Championship.


At this stage it remains unclear when Sunderland can be expected to have a new head coach in place. Rene Maric and Bo Svensson are both under consideration and it's very possible that the identity of at least one other candidate has been kept under wraps.

Danny Rohl is known to be of interest to Sunderland bosses but as things stand the German is still expected to stay at Sheffield Wednesday after talks with Dejphon Chansiri. It also emerged earlier this month that Rohl’s current contract means it would cost around £5m in compensation to prise the Owls boss from Hillsborough. The figure is said to be double if Rohl's close-knit coaching team was to leave with him.

Although only four clubs are currently in the market for a new head coach, there is a bit more managerial uncertainty in the Championship. The future of Cardiff City boss Erol Bulut remains unclear. His contract is up this summer and although new terms have been offered, the length of the deal is said to be a stumbling block.

Burnley could also face a fight to keep Vincent Kompany this summer after the former Manchester City defender emerged as a surprise candidate to take charge at Bayern Munich.

The Belgian is said to have held initial talks with the German giants.