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Next Sunderland manager: Five contenders

Sports Mole takes a look at five managers that are reportedly in the running for the Sunderland job.

If the Sunderland board thought that it was going to be an easy process when it came to appointing a new manager, it seems that they were very much mistaken.

Dick Advocaat decided to call it quits at the weekend and since then a number of managers have been linked with the post, but if reports are to be believed, those that have been approached are proving to be tough to convince.

With the Black Cats believed to be keen to have new man in position by the end of the international break, Sports Mole has taken a look at five bosses that are said to be in contention.

1. Sam Allardyce

'Big' Sam Allardyce barks orders from the touchline on February 22, 2015© Getty Images

A poll recently carried out by a local newspaper showed that Allardyce was the overwhelming favourite among the Sunderland faithful. The 60-year-old, who is available after leaving West Ham United in the summer, has a proven track record of keeping teams afloat in the Premier League from his stints with Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and the Hammers.

He has also managed rivals Newcastle United, but given the predicament that Sunderland find themselves in, it's something that they cannot afford to dwell on.

2. Nigel Pearson

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson on the touchline on March 29, 2013© Getty Images

Pearson performed a miracle to keep Leicester City in the Premier League last term, yet he never seemed to be particularly popular among the club's owners, who sacked him during the summer.

In fairness, the 52-year-old didn't help himself with a string of misdemeanors both during games and while speaking to reporters during press conferences. His teams tend to be well organised units, which is something Sunderland are badly lacking at present.

3. Bob Bradley

Head Coach Bob Bradley of the United States watches his team lose to Spain at Gillette Stadium on June 4, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.© Getty Images

The American's name has come somewhat out of left-field in recent days. At the age of 57, he has only just taken his first managerial job in European football with Norwegian outfit Staebek.

Prior to that, Bradley has been at the helm of a host of American clubs and also the USA and Egyptian national sides. Despite all that experience, his appointment would be a gamble by Sunderland, who are not really in a position to take such a risk.

4. Sean Dyche

Burnley's English manager Sean Dyche arrives ahead of the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Newcastle United at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England, on December 2, 2014© Getty Images

He may have been unable to keep Burnley in the Premier League last term, but the performances, work-rate and endeavour that the Clarets produced for much of the campaign won their manager plenty of plaudits.

It's widely accepted that Dyche will one day return to the top flight, whether it be with Burnley or another club. However, the 44-year-old is known to be extremely loyal to his current employers, so it could be tough to entice him away from Turf Moor.

5. Walter Mazzarri

Inter Milan head coach Walter Mazzarri on the touchline during his team's Serie A match against Sassuolo on September 22, 2013© Getty Images

Following their experiences with Paolo Di Canio in charge, Sunderland fans could be forgiven for being wary of another Italian appointment. But, where Di Canio and his fellow countryman Mazzarri differ greatly is their managerial CVs, with the latter having managed some big clubs, including Sampdoria, Napoli and Inter Milan.

Having turned 54 at the beginning of the month, recent reports have suggested that the Tuscany-born manager is keen to try his luck in the Premier League. Rumour has it that he has been learning English for a little while now, which is an essential attribute.

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Head Coach Bob Bradley of the United States watches his team lose to Spain at Gillette Stadium on June 4, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
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Bob Bradley hints at Sunderland interest

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States16171346
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151137
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Scottish Premiership
Taca da Liga
Pre-Season Friendlies
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Belarusian Premier League
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX

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