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Reports suggest second bidder watching on as German-led consortium nears final strait

Sunderland fans continue to hold their breath awaiting news of a potential takeover of the club. With a week left until the deadline roughly imposed by Ellis Short on concluding a deal, there's a tension in the air.

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Matthew Ashton/Getty Images

Reports continue to suggest that a German-led consortium are edging nearer to completing a takeover of Sunderland AFC but that a second bidder is watching on as the timeline for sealing the deal enters its final week.

The Daily Star continue to insist that the group of American investors which includes Tony Adams and his associate former Chelsea director Paul Smith are still keen on pursuing a deal to buy the Black Cats. That's despite the withdrawal from the consortium of Sunderland-supporting executives from TV production company Fulwell73.

Sunderland v Portsmouth - Premier League
Adams at the Stadium of Light in 2008 as Portsmouth boss
Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

And that line has been repeated by The Sun journalist Alan Nixon who originally broke the news of the German bid.

The north east reporter has continued to suggest Ellis Short and the party seeking to take control of Sunderland remain apart in their valuations of the club and that an American-backed party are still monitoring the situation.

The report in the Daily Star suggests the Fulwell73 trio were merely part of a wider group of investors who are pressing ahead with their interest in Sunderland and will meet Dr Keith Harris - the consultant appointed by Short to oversee the sale of the club - by the end of the week (so today then).

Dr Keith Harris who is advising on the sale of Sunderland

It certainly appears that the process of due diligence is continuing at a pace with Short having originally suggested he would impose an end-of-June deadline for a decision to be reached over the sale of the club he has owned outright since 2009.

These things take time of course but whoever is in control of the Black Cats this time next week will need to have detailed plans in place which can be implemented at pace to begin preparations for the new season which kicks off against Derby Country six weeks today.

Players return for preliminary fitness testing on Thursday followed by the first pre-season fixture against Bury on July 7th.

First team coach Robbie Stockdale will oversee those early preparations assuming no manager is appointed in time.

Rotherham United v Sunderland - Pre-Season Friendly
Robbie Stockdale
Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

And as at this morning the national newspapers are still throwing names around as being top of Sunderland's hitlist with little apparent basis. Following suggestions Alan Pardew is in the running if the Tony Adams consortium take over, reports have continued to nominate Nigel Pearson and Simon Grayson as the two most likely to succeed David Moyes in the Stadium of Light hot seat.

Elsewhere, fevered speculation hit social media last night over the apparent removal of the identities of Sunderland's board of directors from the club's internet page. The suggestion being that those running safc.com had been instructed to prepare for an imminent new regime at the Stadium of Light.

As at last night that page has certainly disappeared but our IT guru has been unable to establish exactly when it was removed. Some have continued to insist it was there yesterday but the most recent archived version we could find still listed Gary Hutchinson as Commercial Director so it may have just been taken down for an update.

Intriguing times.