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Has he gone yet? Confusion reigns at Sunderland with conflicting reports over Moyes' future

David Moyes' position as Sunderland manager has come under renewed speculation this morning with conflicting reports about his future.

Sunderland v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

David Moyes' future at Sunderland remains unclear as media outlets have jostled for position this morning with conflicting reports over the manager's situation at the Stadium of Light.

With Moyes indicating he will consider his future at the end of a season which still has three weeks' remaining, speculation will likely continue until either the manager himself or the club issue a statement to quell the gossip.

The Sun reported late last night that sources close to David Moyes have indicated he will walk away from the Sunderland job 'this week' - a job which has left him bruised after a disastrous season and with another battering to his reputation in football.

Left hanging over night, the tabloid's claims have since been watered down or dismissed by regional titles who will assert that they are closer to the source.

With Sunderland no doubt keen to maintain a 'business as usual' front until there is further clarity, that is little surprise and those local media personnel will have their information from the semi-official stance fed from within the club itself.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

This morning's contradictory stories no doubt emanate from a divide between sources close to Moyes and those who are led by the line from the corporate Sunderland AFC itself.

Certainly the Sunderland manager, Chief Executive Martin Bain and Ellis Short are understood to have held preliminary planning meetings in London this week to determine a short-to-medium term approach in handling the fall-out from relegation, expedite the exits of those players who are bound - or most likely - to leave the club at the end of the season, and presumably clarify Moyes' own position.

As for the 54-year-old Scot, his political savvy from years in the game will no doubt see him engineer a situation where he can either leave with a minimum of 'blame' attached to himself and mitigate any financial loss to him personally or present himself as staying-put with an unwavering backing from Short and Bain.

That will likely be the key here. Ellis Short may have wavered in his long-held belief that the man he appointed last summer, with a huge mandate and glowing praise, is really the right individual to lead the club forward with fans turning on the beleaguered Scot.

But the Sunderland owner is understood to have backed support for Moyes right until the bitter end of relegation which was confirmed on Saturday. Short's statement after that conclusion made no mention of the manager's position, presumably deliberately vague to allow room for negotiations.

If he is staying, Moyes will be determined to engineer himself into a position that brings with it an apparent full public backing from Short along with some semblance of a plan to rebuild the squad and the club in the summer.

That plan is the concern. If Sunderland ditch Moyes now, many feel the pain of this season will all have been for nothing and a careful hunt for a new man who can lead the club through a rebuild will have to start a fresh and will take time.

The manager has personally scouted targets and the cream of players available to Championship outfits will be sorting their next landing place early in the summer. Another about-turn at the Stadium of Light will only see another close season disrupted to start over again.

With up to 20 players to exit the Stadium of Light, presumably before the notion of bringing anyone new in can begin, someone has to lead the club through something of a revolution in the coming weeks and months - and quickly.

On the other hand, many supporters simply can not envisage offering Moyes any future support and will have been delighted with the headlines that appeared early on claiming he was on his way.

Genuinely at this point - like it or not - Moyes appears to hold the cards with his future appearing to be solely his own decision.

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