Takeover talks trump manager search
That Sunderland statement issued last night has put a halt on all speculation surrounding a new manager.
With the club confirming that takeover talks are underway, the communication indicated a difficulty in attracting David Moyes' successor whilst negotiations are ongoing.
That message that a prospective buy-out will need concluding one way or another before the club can attract a new boss has heralded an intriguing period at the Stadium of Light.
The statement indicated that 'parties' rather than a sole 'party' are interested in buying the club and that has been picked up in the national press as a suggestion that there is more than one bidder lined up.
But a German-led consortium appears to be the one most are still talking about.
The identity of that organisation has largely remained a mystery though speculation that a Deutsch financial institution are behind the takeover interest continues as do suggestions the group have links to Borrussia Dortmund.
Either way a swift conclusion is in everyone's interests and whilst timescales are unclear, an end of June deadline for the process - by which point pre-season preparations will commence - seems a logical assumption to make.
Bracewell departure confirmed
Not the best kept secret, Sunderland have confirmed the departure of assistant manager Paul Bracewell - his exit announced with little fanfare after the news leaked out during the week.
Paul Bracewell has left his role of assistant manager at Sunderland AFC with immediate effect.— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) June 17, 2017
➡️ https://t.co/NWlLVa6eFt pic.twitter.com/M5xTzPLndM
Bracewell has been associated with Sunderland on-and-off since he joined the club as a 21-year-old midfielder in the early 1980s. Three stints as a player and spells as development coach and latterly assistant manager to Dick Advocaat, Sam Allardyce and David Moyes followed.
Robbis Stockdale will takeover first team duties until a new manager is appointed but the position of Chief Football Officer Simon Wilson remains a mystery.
The 37-year-old joined the club in January with a remit to oversee the recruitment, performance, scouting and academy functions. Reports during the week indicated he too has been relieved of his duties but no further official clarification has followed.
Confederations Cup representative
Sunderland will have a representative at the Confederations Cup which kicks off later today. Under-23 defender Sam Brotherton will feature for New Zealand.
The four-yearly FIFA tournament pits the holders of each of the six regional international championships against each other along with the World Cup holder.
The 20-year-old was signed from American outfit Wisconsin Badgers in February. The Auckland-born defender has 7 caps for New Zealand.
Wahbi Khazri gets married
Sunderland want-away midfielder Wahbi Khazri got married to his long-term partner during the week.
The 26-year-old Tunisian has been with Sunderland since January 2016 and after a frustrating season declared his intent to depart the Stadium of Light this summer.
After declaring he would love to move to Olympique Marseille, transfer gossip has so far been limited to suggestions he may be a target for Turkish clubs Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray.
Khazri was signed for £9m and Sunderland look set to make a moderate loss on his sale this summer though some outlets have suggested he may yet make a move out on loan.
Sebastian Coates on John O'Shea
They're both still technically Sunderland players - until the end of June - Sebastian Coates and John O'Shea.
The former's sale to Sporting Lisbon will be officially concluded on July 1st and the latter's contract will expire at the same time.
But Uruguayan defender Coates took time out recently to pay tribute to his former teammate O'Shea.
Speaking to the Team33 Podcast the 26-year-old who spent 18-months at the Stadium of Light said:
He's a leader - natural. I spent something like two years with him and he was great. I learnt everything and he's a top man. He's really kind.
Sunderland agreed the sale of Coates to Sporting Lisbon in February where he was been on loan since 2016. The Portuguese club will pay Sunderland 4.72-million-euros for his services.
Suggestions remain that O'Shea has been offered a new deal at the club and it's unclear what effect the continued delay in appointing a new manager will have on that.
Reports have indicated that the 36-year-old Republic of Ireland defender has had alternative offers from other Championship clubs including Wolves.