Academy Manager set to depart
Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven have been quick to make their mark on the club, and after Martin Bain left yesterday due to the pair making the CEO position redundant, it was followed up with the news that Academy Manager Jimmy Sinclair is also set to leave the club.
Sinclair, who appears to have tended his notice on Friday, joined the club in February 2017 after being brought to the club by Bain. The Scot had previously worked with Bain at Glasgow Rangers.
Kevin Ball is widely expected to replace Sinclair at the Academy of Light - something that Methven alluded to when he spoke so highly of the club legend during his appearance on our Roker Rapport podcast:
I don’t knock everything that the current management have done, but I don’t understand the Kevin Ball situation. A man in the prime of his career who has achieved phenomenal things - the England captain and goalkeeper coming through his youth team - wandering around doing club dinners at the age of 51-52, that’s just not right.
That guy is absolutely in the prime of his coaching career, but we’ll be sitting down with Kevin and discussing a more proactive role because we’ve had meetings with him already and we like what we see.
Managerial Trio ruled out?
While Donald hopes to have a new manager in charge by the end of the week, events which have transpired over the last 24 hours may have ruled out three potential candidates.
Sheffield United have extended the contract of Chris Wilder by twelve months, which sees the 50-year-old commit his future to United until 2021. Wilder’s future at Bramall Lane had been in doubt due to a boardroom dispute, which had seen him installed as favourite for the vacant Sunderland role, but he was delighted to be able to take his boyhood club forward:
After lengthy discussions with both owners, I am delighted and proud to carry on leading Sheffield United forward in a positive manner, as we have previously shown in the last two seasons.
I am confident we can concentrate fully on on-field issues, we are very much looking forward to pre-season and adding quality reinforcements to our squad in an attempt to build on our performance last season.
St Mirren hope to follow in Sheffield United’s footsteps by handing Jack Ross a new contract. Ross is already contracted to St Mirren until 2021 but after both Sunderland and Ipswich were linked with a move for the 41-year-old, their board have moved to tie Ross down to a lengthier deal.
Finally, Bolton Wanderers have warned Sunderland off making a move for Phil Parkinson. It was rumoured that the former Bradford boss was on Donald’s shortlist of potential candidates, but Wanderers chairman Ken Anderson moved quickly to shut down those rumours;
There has been some speculation linking Phil with other jobs and I can completely understand why given the excellent and outstanding job he has done with us. What I will say is that Phil is under contract with Bolton Wanderers Football Club and he is the right man for the job in hand.
We will not entertain any enquiries for him whatsoever and hopefully the size of any potential compensation package would be sufficient to dissuade any approaches.
Khazri earns plaudits
Wahbi Khazri has spent the last season on loan at Rennes, where he shone for the Ligue 1 side - so much so that francefootball included him in their list of 20 best players in the division, with the ex-Bordeaux man named as the 7th best player in Ligue 1.
The only players to finish above Khazri were Neymar, Nabil Fekir, Edinson Cavani, Florian Thauvin, Thiago Silva and Benjamin Bourigeaud.
The Tunisian is also set to feature at the upcoming World Cup, which starts next month, so the new Sunderland owners should have no problem finding a buyer for Khazri - but there may be a litmus test in what kind of deal they can get for a player in his prime, who is coming off the back of a good season. Under the old regime it would surprise no-one to see Khazri leaving for either a fraction of his true worth or going out on loan once again.
You can take a look at some highlights of Wahbi Khazri from this season in the video below.