MX23RW : Saturday, July 21 04:17:04

Paul Heckingbottom 'out of Sunderland running'

Sunderland reportedly end their pursuit of Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom for their managerial vacancy.

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom has reportedly been ruled out of the running to take over at Sunderland.

The Black Cats are currently in the hunt for a new boss after sacking Simon Grayson following the club's disastrous start to life back in the Championship, which has seen them pick up just one win in 16 games and drop to the bottom of the table.

The club have been linked with a number of names in recent weeks, including Wales manager Chris Coleman, ex-Rangers boss Ally McCoist and former Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka, while Michael O'Neill is said to have this week rejected an approach to swap the Northern Ireland national job for the Championship.

Heckingbottom was also thought to have been a target of the Sunderland hierarchy, who reportedly offered him a huge pay rise to take over at the Stadium of Light, but according to Sky Sports News, the club have now ended their pursuit.

Coleman remains the bookmakers' favourite for the role.

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Michael O'Neill during the Euro 2016 Group C match between Ukraine and Northern Ireland on July 16, 2016
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