David Moyes has confirmed he intends being Sunderland manager next season following talks with owner Ellis Short and chief executive Martin Bain this week.
The statement at his weekly press conference concludes days of fevered speculation over Moyes' future at the relegated Black Cats and contains thus:
I've got a four-year contract and I'll be Sunderland manager next season. I know what needs to be done to get back in the Premier League and I know what the requirements are.
It was just last Friday that the Sunderland boss indicated he would consider his future at the end of the season and following the confirmation of relegation with defeat against Bournemouth, Moyes reiterated that intent.
In truth, the 54-year-old Scot has played a blinder here in deflecting attention from Sunderland's demise onto a debate about his own future whilst ensuring a strong-hand going into negotiations with the club's owner and most senior director.
On the subject of those talks, it appears Moyes had received at least an indication that a strategy will be put in place supplemented by a transfer budget he feels is sufficient to deliver Premier League football back to the Stadium of Light:
I met with Martin and Ellis this week and we have initial discussions abut how move forward. We will meet again in a few weeks.
Whether Moyes was intent on departing after ten months of his four-year deal we will likely never know, but the threat of leaving Sunderland appears to have ensured that Short and Bain entered negotiations with one eye on convincing the former Everton and Manchester United manager to stay on and oversee a desperately needed rebuild.
It ought to have been the other way around - Moyes selling himself to his overlords in light of a season littered with his failings, but this is Sunderland - a club with unique and deep-rooted problems.
Ever one to have knee-jerked his way through previous Sunderland appointments, Short has no doubt been unnerved by the growing clamour for Moyes' head, though the private and online angst aimed at the manager away from the terraces has rarely been replicated at the Stadium of Light.
How Moyes will be greeted by those travelling to Humberside for the first of Sunderland's dead-rubber sequence of final fixtures will be interesting to note. He may yet have succeeded in obliterating calls for his departure into a grim acceptance from the Wearside faithful.
The trip to Hull City tomorrow sees the first in a Sunderland double-header against former-relegation rivals. The Black Cats look destined to play a continued significant part in this season's battle for survival despite being consigned to a position of mere onlookers.
Marco Silva's men are desperate for three-points against the Premier League's worst team as will Swansea be next week when they visit the Stadium of Light. The Tigers and the Swans will likely now play out a fight-to-the-death over the final relegation spot with Sunderland confirmed as down and neighbours Middlesbrough as good as.
As for Moyes, the fact is - however unpalatable it may be - someone has to expedite the departure of a whole first team of players who are duty-bound or desperate to leave. And in doing so, the business of the man at the helm in protecting Sunderland's interests has never been so crucial. The club simply must rake in as many pounds as potential buyers are willing to fork out for a squad who have limped to a dismal 21 points this season and been exposed as filled with the work-shy, the feeble and the overpaid relative to their ability.
Many Sunderland supporters will be dismayed by this morning's headlines however and Moyes has a huge amount to do to convince the fan base he is the right man for the job.
How long he can cling on into the new Championship season now desperately depends on his summer transfer dealings and getting off to a good start in the second-tier.