Sunderland have been given permission to speak to Preston boss Simon Grayson about their vacant manager’s job.
Preston confirmed they were approached by Sunderland on Thursday morning, with the Black Cats looking to replace David Moyes – who resigned following relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season.
A statement from Preston read: “Having spoken to Simon, he has asked permission to speak to the Black Cats and therefore the club had no option but to allow these conversations to take place, with a compensation package already guaranteed in his contract.”
Once permission had been granted, Grayson left the Preston North End training ground to travel to the North East to begin talks, Sky Sports News HQ understands.
Steve Thompson will be in charge of first-team affairs at Preston while Grayson is in negotiations.
Sunderland were in talks with Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes earlier this summer, but the Dons boss opted to stay put after failing to agree a deal at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats had turned their attention to Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, according to Sky sources, who was one of a number of candidates being considered to lead their Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Simon Grayson guided Preston back to the Championship for the first time in four years in 2014.
Sunderland this month conceded that doubts over the future ownership of the club were affecting their search for a new man in charge, saying “the recruitment process, whilst still very much active, cannot be concluded imminently”.
However, a £100m takeover deal for Sunderland could be agreed in principle in the near future, Sky sources understand.
Several members of the squad are still to be offloaded, despite goalkeeper Jordan Pickford having left for Everton, striker Jermain Defoe expected to formally join Bournemouth at the weekend and Fabio Borini close to sealin.Soccer Accumulator Bonus
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