Sunderland are growing increasingly frustrated at the wait to discover whether or not they will need to find a replacement for boss Sam Allardyce after his talks with the Football Association.
Almost a week has passed since the 61-year-old held discussions with the FA over the England manager’s job, which became vacant when Roy Hodgson stepped down after a disappointing Euro 2016 finals campaign in France.
However, it is understood the Black Cats are no closer to knowing if Allardyce is to be appointed as Hodgson’s successor with the three-man selection panel – comprising FA technical director Dan Ashworth, chief executive Martin Glenn and vice-chairman David Gill – due to speak to a series of other potential candidates.
Sunderland were already annoyed that a supposedly private process had become all too public, and their mood has not been improved by the fact that it is still ongoing and seemingly likely to be so for some time yet with Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, one of those also reportedly on the list along with Hull boss Steve Bruce and United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, out of the country until the weekend.
Allardyce, who has made no secret of his desire to manage his country one day, remains the bookmakers’ favourite to get the job, but his impending departure or otherwise is not the only uncertainty on Wearside.
The former Bolton and West Ham boss, who held talks with the FA after leaving the club’s pre-season training camp in Austria, resumed training with his squad back on Wearside on Monday without a single new face among the playing staff.
He and the club’s recruitment team have been working hard since the end of last season to identify and attract new signings, but the fact that it is by no means certain the manager will still be in place when the new campaign gets under way is not helping the situation, with some targets unwilling to commit themselves until they know what is happening.
The Black Cats registered their displeasure when they confirmed Allardyce had been given permission to talk to the FA, and officials are looking for a resolution one way or the other as soon as possible.
In the meantime, contingency plans are being drawn up with the names of David Moyes and Sean Dyche figuring prominently on a wish-list should they need to turn to it.
As things stand, Allardyce is due to send out his team at Hartlepool on Wednesday evening as preparations for the new Premier League season continue.