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Ex-Sunderland maestro emerges as a new favourite for manager’s job as Wilder set for Blades stay

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Alex Rae, anyone?

St Mirren v Edinburgh City - Betfred Cup Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

News this morning has suggested that the favourite for the Sunderland manager’s job, Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, is set to turn down an offer to take the Black Cats forward in favour of signing a new deal with the Blades - meaning that a new name has emerged as the front-runner to replace Chris Coleman in the Stadium of Light hotseat.

The report - which was published by Sky Sports - claims that Wilder has agreed an extension of his contract with his boyhood club, and has opted to stay with them in order to carry them forward next season in the Championship.

The bookies now have former Sunderland midfielder Alex Rae as the next favourite for the job, and he’s available for free having not held a job in management since 2016.

St Mirren v Edinburgh City - Betfred Cup Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Whilst Rae is a favourite amongst the Wearside faithful following his successful stint here as a player under the leadership of Peter Reid, appointing him as our next manager would seem fairly left-field - and perhaps a tad unrealistic, even despite the decision taken by the bookies to slash his odds.

Rae has worked extensively as a coach and assistant manager at a variety of clubs since his playing career ended - including stints with KRC Genk, Blackpool and Notts County - and most recently managed St Mirren.

The next closest in the running, according to bookmakers, is the man that replaced Rae at St Mirren - 41-year old former Hartlepool United defender Jack Ross.

PA Images via Getty Images

The ex-Alloa Athletic gaffer has been tipped to take over from Mick McCarthy at Ipswich Town, and is thought to be keen on a move South of the border in order to challenge himself further in a more competitive league.

The outsider in the running, Leicester assistant manager Michael Appleton, is still priced at 7/1 - though those odds could come down significantly once the Wilder contract extension is confirmed. It’s thought that the former Portsmouth and Oxford United boss is a close personal friend of Stewart Donald, hence why his name has been so heavily linked with the vacancy since the takeover news emerged a number of weeks ago.