The man behind the recent success of every football hipster's favourite European club over the last year or so, Athletic Bilbao, is currently out of work and while there is probably little to no chance of the eccentric Argentinean rocking up at the Stadium of Light, I am going to indulge myself a little here.
Bielsa employs a high pressing, fluid and energetic style of play which would be tailor made for the Premier League you have to feel. Sure he has made a name for himself as unusual and unpredictable, which may be exactly the managerial style the Sunderland board wish to move away from given the car crash that was Di Canio's tenure, but Bielsa is able to back up his eccentric mannerisms with genuine tactical knowledge, the man's a genius.
In fact Bielsa is such a rabid student of the game, who before taking over at Athletic watched each of their 38 fixtures from the previous season, compiling insanely detailed, colour co-ordinated spreadsheets.
Through impeccable training and preparation during the week, combined with meticulous tactical research ahead of each fixture, Bielsa created a sensational side during his time with Athletic, just imagine if he was given a chance to mold a Sunderland side in such a manner?
A pipe dream? Aye, probably.
2. Rene Muelensteen
The former Manchester United coach finds himself in high demand of late, with Fulham reportedly interested in his services to assist manager Martin Jol. However, would the Dutchman not be tempted with an opportunity to get back into management following an ill-fated spell with Anzhi Makhachkala?
Muelensteen would certainly be a surprising appointment. However as a coach he was trusted with the day-to-day coaching of Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson and players have been queuing up to heap praise at his feet.
Robin Van Persie for example has described Rene as "one of the greatest coaches in the world".
And in that very quote could be the reason why Rene may just be a good fit for Sunderland - "coach". Given the Director of Football model now in place on Wearside a coach, rather than a "manager" in the old-fashioned definition of the role, may just be a good fit.
We've taken enough former Manchester United players on over the years, why stop there? Heck, why not bring in Gary Neville too and form some kind of former MUFC management super team?
3. Roberto Di Matteo
I think it was Chris who hit the nail on the head with Di Matteo earlier today when he described Di Matteo as "the best of a bad bunch" that have been linked with the job so far. I'd agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment.
The obvious Italian links have added some credence to Di Matteo being the man lined up to take over the reins, although I suspect such links to be nothing more than as tenuous as they sound.
I like Di Matteo, I really do, and many will point to his success during his stint with Chelsea but I always got the impression he was simply too nice of a guy. He wouldn't be the worst appointment in the world but could the club be a little more forward thinking?
Roberto Mancini? Was supposedly in talks with Sunderland while we negotiated a compensation package with Wigan for the services of Steve Bruce a few years back. Would also be fairly amusing to see the squad breathe a sigh of relief having seen tough-taskmaster Di Canio given his marching orders only for him to be replaced by another manager with a history of backroom bust ups. Plus he wears a nice scarf, not enough of that these days for my liking.