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Another new favourite: as Sunderland manager hunt enters week 3, perhaps we should be concerned

14 days since David Moyes departed the Stadium of Light and precious little progress is being reported on the hunt for his replacement. With another new favourite for the job installed this morning, is it all in hand or are the club struggling to attract the right calibre of candidate? Or worse, are they struggling to sell the post to the right man?

Sunderland v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

David Moyes has been gone two weeks. And whilst his departure in part lifted some of the gloom above the Stadium of Light, that rebuilding project of which he repeatedly spoke still needs to begin.

Reports across the weekend have indicated Sunderland will begin the interview process in the next few days to fill the vacant manager's position. Though in truth they said that last week too.

Progress over the weekend has seen some movement overnight to install Preston manager Simon Grayson as the new favourite for the job and there have been reported sightings of former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson at the Hilton hotel adjacent to the Stadium of Light.

Whether it really was him or an unfortunate look-alike remains to be seen but Grayson and Pearson will do little to set hearts a flutter on Wearside.

The individual who 'broke' the news that the dog-wrestling ex-Newcastle coach was in town indicated Pearson had checked in for three days. That's quite the interview preparation for a bloke who supposedly only returned from holiday on Friday.

We can likely expect further names to appear as 'favourites' as figures begin arriving at the Stadium of Light for their turn at selling themselves.

Certainly elements of the north east press have confirmed that the Pearson is 'under consideration' for the Sunderland manager post though the 53-year-old also appears to be a front-runner for the job at Middlesbrough too.

Derby County v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship
Nigel Pearson pictured before he left Derby
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Reports on Teesside have indicated the 'Boro are unlikely to appoint before next weekend which is perhaps a crumb of comfort for those who are starting to worry that the Wearside manager search is taking too long. That said, whether Middlesbrough have as a big a rebuilding job ahead of them as Sunderland this close season is doubtful.

When Moyes left, the club spoke of pausing for a "period of reflection". Quite frankly, a moment to mourn for the dour Scot was more than sufficient considering how much work is yet to start never mind complete. Especially as we're now well into June and pre-season training starts in three weeks' time.

On the subject of the squad to be rebuilt, reports yesterday indicated Sunderland are prepared to offer extensions to the two long-serving players out of contract this summer - John O'Shea and Sebastian Larsson.

Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - Premier League
John OShea and Sebastian Larsson during their first season on Wearside in 2011
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

In part - to many - that feels like an opportunity missed to move on two long lingering high earners. Particularly a pair who have been at the centre of a Sunderland squad which has turned over far too many managers in recent years.

Alternatively, most sides who bounce back from relegation do so with a retained core and O'Shea and Larsson will no doubt do a job in the Championship. Their oft-quoted 'presence' in the dressing room as two long-standing senior pros may be a plus-point as the playing staff undergo significant changes.

Regardless, there are plenty of others gathered around the exit door at the Stadium of Light waiting for the transfer window to open and dash from within. How much Sunderland can actually raise from the sale of Lamine Kone, Fabio Borini, Wahbi Khazri and a few others is a worry.

There are suggestions that the new manager - whoever that may be - will be handed much of the proceeds from those sales to fashion a new squad, but that will be minus whatever figure Sunderland still owe on their original purchases.

With the Black Cats having operated on extended buy-now-pay-later terms in recent transfer windows, that could still be substantial so the net figure for investment in fresh players this summer could take a significant hit.

The big unknown is how much - if any - David Moyes' successor will receive should Jordan Pickford be sold. With an asking price of up to £30m, a chunk will surely have been earmarked to ease the shock of losing the Premier League income on which the club have become so irretrievably dependent.

Realistically we may have to write off the prospective Pickford millions from our minds in estimating the transfer kitty available for this summer.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League
Jordan Pickford - Sunderland's crown jewels this summer
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Without doubt those prospective managers that Sunderland will be talking to this week will seek insight and assurances over the budget they will be handed once they take the reins. That could see some names fall by the wayside. It is after all the reason why Moyes walked - or so we are led to believe.

The rest may seek some written guarantee that what is sold to them upfront will be honoured as the close season progresses and gives way to the Championship campaign proper.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has been a consistent favourite for the job despite occasional unpredictable surges in the betting odds for others. Look no futher than Simon Grayson suddenly topping the betting charts over night to become the new 'most likely' according to the bookies. And that follows last week's spike for Ryan Giggs.

Certainly if the right man is out there, it really would make sense to have him in by now. It will be an interesting week.

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