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Recap & Rumours: Hot managerial favourite emerges; Khazri says he has no intention of staying & more

In this morning's R&R: At this rate, bookmakers will stop taking bets on Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes taking over as manager at Sunderland; and we roundup the rest of the non-managerial gossip.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Derek McInnes becomes hot favourite

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has become the 2/1 favourite to take over as manager at Sunderland after 24-hours of fevered speculation in the press south of the border.

Hibernian v Aberdeen - Scottish Cup Semi-Final
Derek Innes
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

With local and national newspapers falling over themselves to claim they understand the 45-year-old is on the Black Cats emerging short-list to replace David Moyes, bookmakers have slashed the odds on McInnes becoming the new boss at the Stadium of Light.

Admittedly, speculation has yet to reach much more than a raised eyebrow north of the border, with Aberdeen preparing to face Celtic in the Scottish Cup final this weekend.

Until that small matter is concluded we can expect little development on the McInnes pursuit - presuming that's the direction Sunderland are heading in.


Banned uninsured striker crashed Adam Matthews' Mercedes AMG

According to the Daily Mail, forgotten Sunderland defender Adam Matthews was the man who lent Tammy Abraham the Mercedes AMG that the striker crashed into a car driven by a 61-year-old man whilst banned and uninsured.

Wales Training and Press Conference
Adam Matthews (C) warming up with Gareth Bale and Joe Ledley ahead of a Wales match in November
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Matthews, who spent the season on loan at Bristol City from Sunderland, was a teammate of the 21-year-old Chelsea striker who also spent last term at the Robins.

Abraham has been summonsed following the smash which occurred whilst he was without both a license and insurance and driving Matthews' car.

Adam Matthews was signed during the Lee Congerton / Dick Advocaat summer of disastrous recruitment in 2015 from Celtic. After just 2 appearances for Sunderland he was shipped out to Bristol City on loan in a two-month deal in March 2016.

After a seemingly decent first spell at Ashton Gate, the Robins sought to secure the services of the 25-year-old for a further season. But with a lack of form and fitness, Matthews has failed to live up to his initial billing at Bristol and will return to Sunderland at the end of the month having made just 12 appearances this campaign.

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City - Sky Bet Championship
Matthews turning out for Bristol City last season
Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

Where Matthews goes from here is unclear. Sunderland have had an abundance of right-backs at the club in the Premier League season just completed with Donald Love joining Billy Jones as those permanently at the club used by David Moyes and are supplemented by 19-year-old academy prospect Josh Robson. Loan man Javier Manquillo will return to Atletico Madrid next week.


Honda loosely linked again

Japan star Keisuke Honda has been linked with a move to Sunderland in a report published by BeIN Sports yesterday. The attacking midfielder is on the hunt for a new club after being released by AC Milan.

AC Milan v Bologna FC - Serie A
Keisuke Honda saying farewell to AC Milan fans at the weekend
Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Honda has been mentioned as a target for the Black Cats before, most recently during the January transfer window. And David Moyes was said to be on the verge of signing the 30-year-old last summer in a deal rumoured to be worth £8.5m before one of the parties got cold feet.

As one of Japan's best known footballers, Honda will no doubt have better offers than Sunderland for next season. Having earned £40,000 a week at Milan, he will also be looking for a decent pay day which the cash-strapped Black Cats can ill afford.

But it's nice to be linked still eh.


Khazri - Moyes said I can leave & I don't want to stay

In an interview with French newspaper L'Equipe, Sunderland midfielder Wahbi Khazri has said he doesn't want to play in the Championship next season and had been told by David Moyes he could leave the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
Khazri last month at the Stadium of Light
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Largely frozen out of the first team by Moyes, Khazri endured a depressing second campaign at Sunderland.

And with his face seemingly unable to fit into Moyes' plans, the Tunisian came to represent a battle of wills between the Wearside crowd and the dour Scot.

Khazri's continued omission became an increasingly sore point for Sunderland fans as the sparkless Black Cats campaign faded into a limp march to relegation. Moyes was left in no doubt as to the view of supporters with huge ironic cheers accompanying the playmaker's introduction onto the field of play and those who were selected ahead of him subject to jeers and boos.

The man signed from Bordeaux in January 2016 for a fee of £9m, told L'Equipe that his exclusion from the first team has made him stronger:

Mentally, it was a struggle. I played very little this season...I was also not used to it. On the other hand, it hardened me. Having played little for a year allows me to be physically and mentally well. It's just football, and when you see what's going on in the world right now, I think there's more serious in life.

With suggestions he was overweight at times during the season, a nasty altercation with a 19-year-old opponent on international duty and a very public falling out with his Tunisian coach during the African Cup of Nations, Khazri's dismal campaign was not all down to others of course.

But the man who is set to get married in a few weeks is in no doubt that his future lies away from the Stadium of Light:

Before being fired on Sunday, he [Moyes] told me clearly that I could leave. It falls well: I do not see myself staying. I do not want to play in the Championship. I have three years left, and my transfer would make everyone happy.