McInnes set for talks
Confusion still abounds in the next Sunderland manager stakes with reports suggesting Derek McInnes will return from holiday to begin talks about the vacant manager post at the Stadium of Light, whilst Ryan Giggs remains the bookmakers' favourite.
Giggs is still rated as better than evens this morning to succeed his former Manchester United manager David Moyes at Sunderland. And that's despite the 43-year-old cooling speculation by stating he has received no approach from the Black Cats.
McInnes surely remains the most likely to take the Stadium of Light hot seat with press reports indicating Sunderland will approach Aberdeen for permission to open formal talks within the next 48 hours.
Elsewhere, Preston boss Simon Grayson still lurks as third favourite and remains widely considered as a contender. The 47-year-old is preparing for his fifth season at Deepdale and also appears to be a target for Hull City.
Down the A19, Gary Monk is thought to be set for an interview for the vacant Middlesbrough job and can probably be ruled out for the Sunderland role. And despite ruling himself out, Alan Pardew still features at shortish odds to be installed at the Stadium of Light.
With today heralding the start of June, Sunderland will be keen to commence negotiations with their assorted short-list with a huge summer of squad rebuilding currently on hold.
It's only four weeks until the players return from their summer break to begin pre-season training and the Black Cats have a sizeable list of Premier League 'stars' stood by the exit door eagerly waiting to be pushed out.
Agent lands in Milan to sell his wares
Former Sunderland Director of Football Roberto De Fanti has arrived in Milan to stimulate speculation he has landed to discuss a deal to export Fabio Borini back to his native Italy.
The 26-year-old Sunderland forward is thought to be a target for both AC Milan and Lazio with Bologna the other Serie A club mentioned in dispatches as keen to take on his services.
De Fanti also represents Milan forward Danilo Cataldi who spent part of last season on loan at Genoa and youngster Lamine Ndiaye, so he could equally have arrived to discuss the future of his other clients.
Either way, Borini is certain to depart the Stadium of Light this summer after a disappointing season. Widely panned as roughly the worst of Sunderland's relegated 'stars', the former Liverpool forward looks set to turn out in Serie A next season.
Goalkeeping 'target' set for Monaco
Veteran French goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso was linked with a move to Sunderland a couple of weeks ago after being released by Bordeaux.
The 35-year-old claimed last summer that he had been approached by David Moyes to switch southern France for northern England and move to the Stadium of Light. That was at the time Sunderland were assessing their goalkeeping options following an injury to Vito Mannone during the early part of the season.
Nothing came of that as Carrasso opted to remain with Les Girondins, and little looks likely to come of this latest link either with the former French international set to sign for Monaco this summer.
Lee Clark confirms Sunderland visit
Former Sunderland and Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark has confirmed the Black Cats will visit Bury this summer for a friendly. The 44-year-old who featured over 70 times during his spell on Wearside has been manager at Gigg Lane since February.
A planned pre-season trip to Bury has become something of a badly kept secret after the League One club posted an article online a couple of weeks ago stating they had lined up a fixture with Sunderland. The post was quickly taken off line but not before half of Wearside had heard about it.
Clark has confirmed his club are still working on confirming the date for the visit of the manager-less Black Cats as well as Huddersfield Town, telling the Bury Times:
They [Sunderland and Huddersfield] are the types of clubs we are talking to. Sunderland were recently relegated and will be a Championship club come pre-season while Huddersfield have replaced them in the Premier.
We are hoping to have everything confirmed 100 percent in the next couple of days. It will give us an exciting mixture of games in terms of quality of the opposition.
One thing is certain, the date won't be either the 18th, 25th or 28th July as Bury already have fixtures pencilled in for those slots.