Sunderland have reportedly decided to make a concrete approach for the services of Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes.
For much of the time since David Moyes resigned from his role at the Stadium of Light, bookmakers have considered McInnes to be the favourite to replace his fellow Scot but a move has, so far, failed to materialise.
However, according to The Sun, Sunderland are planning to try to open negotiations with the 45-year-old when he returns from holiday later this week.
It has been suggested that a switch is far from a foregone conclusion, with McInnes allegedly skeptical about taking the position if he does not have enough funds available to him in order to make additions to a squad which spent much of this season at the bottom of the Premier League table.
However, if talks are able to proceed, Sunderland hope to persuade McInnes to end a 200-game stay with the Dons, where he has registered 116 wins during that time.
McInnes has previously managed Bristol City, although he was only able to win 17 of his 63 matches in charge.