It appeared as if Sunderland's search for a new head coach was well under way but in a surprising turn of events Dick Advocaat has had a change of heart and decided to stay on by signing a new one-year deal.
Advocaat had seemingly retired from club football and was looking forward to a job in international management, with a return to the Belgian national side strongly rumoured in the last week, but after speaking to the club and his family, the Dutchman has decided to have another season on Wearside;
After a lot of discussions with Ellis and Lee, they convinced me that I am the right man for the club.
It was a great feeling to be part of Sunderland in the last few months, the experience was something very special and after talking with Lee, Ellis and of course my family, we all agree it is the right decision.
Speaking to safc.com, chairman Ellis Short spoke of his delight at Advocaat's u-turn;
Dick's credentials in football are top class and we saw what an impact his vast knowledge and experience had on our team and the club as a whole in just two months.
Sunderland fans took him to their hearts and so did everyone at the club, so we are absolutely thrilled that he will be here longer term.
Advocaat made no secret of the fact that one of the conditions on him staying at the club would be for Short to invest in quality players and Lee Congerton confirmed that the club have a lot of work to do to prepare for next season, which will hopefully see transfer funds made available to strengthen the first XI;
Dick was always our number one choice and we were determined we weren't going to take 'no' for an answer. I have been in constant contact with him over the last two weeks and I'm absolutely delighted that he has agreed to return.
In just a short space of time he has bought into the club wholeheartedly and understands exactly what we need now in order to move forward. We have a lot of work to do to prepare for the season ahead and that starts in earnest now.
Despite not being a long term appointment, Advocaat showed that he has enough about him to improve our position in the Premier League and if he is backed by Short, then we may have a season to look forward to.