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Monk to be confirmed at 'Boro as Sunderland favourite Phillips looks nowhere near the job - yet

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One to discount - Garry Monk is on the verge of taking the job of manager at Middlesbrough, whilst new bookies' favourite Kevin Phillips remains a surprise leader at the top of the betting market.

Kevin Phillips of Sunderland Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

According to widespread reports, Garry Monk will be unveiled as the new manager of Middlesbrough in the next 24 hours as the Teessiders look set to steal a march on north east rivals Sunderland in the new-boss-stakes.

Monk had been suggested as a leading candidate for the job at the Stadium of Light with the Sunderland Echo reporting that the former Swansea and Leeds manager would indeed be interested in succeeding David Moyes.

Sunderland v Swansea City - Premier League
Garry Monk at the Stadium of Light during his period as Swansea boss
Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

In truth, the 38-year-old who resigned from Leeds a little over two weeks' ago has played something of a blinder in positioning himself for the majority of presently vacant 'big' jobs in the upper tiers of English football.

Monk has been near the top of the betting lists for the vacant positions at Crystal Palace, Norwich, Hull City and of course Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

There have been suggestions that Monk has spoken to the Sunderland hierarchy about the job at the Stadium of Light. But after appearing to be discounted for the Palace hot seat, it seems the man who lifted Leeds United to the brink of the Play-Offs has been persuaded the 'Boro position affords him the better option of launching a career-boosting assault on promotion to the Premier League.

The reports in the local press earlier this week of Monk's 'interest' in the vacancy at the Stadium of Light all just felt a little convenient coming as they did on the back of chief executive Martin Bain attempting to deflect criticism that the Sunderland manager hunt is taking a little too long.

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League
The Stadium of Light
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

With Sunderland still appearing to be making little practical progress in the search for a new manager, Monk opting for Teesside over Wearside may hint at some fundamental flaws with the Stadium of Light post.

David Moyes supposedly resigned his position unconvinced that the finances and structure to lead a promotion campaign were likely to be afforded him.

And with Sunderland seemingly having sounded out Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes with no firm outcome, it may be that the Dons manager has had similar reservations to Moyes.

Meanwhile, Black Cats legend Kevin Phillips has emerged as the present favourite to take over at the Stadium of Light. The former striker has shot from a 25/1 outsider to near odds-on leader in the betting markets today.

Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday- Sky Bet Championship
Currently coaching at Derby, Kevin Phillips leads the odds to take charge at the Stadium of Light
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

And whilst a surge like that would ordinarily hint that the candidate has emerged as a front runner in talks - or there's been a flurry of cash planted on him - whispers suggest Kevin Phillips is presently on holiday so even if he were on the verge of appointment, nothing imminent is likely.

Regardless, with Sunderland repeatedly quoted as keen to land a manager with experience, Phillips would be quite the punt for a club seeking to navigate the potential graveyard of the Championship next season.

The only way Super Kev is likely to stride into the Stadium of Light would surely be if the club and he can agree him taking an assistant's post alongside a man with a greater pedigree in Championship management.