SUNDERLAND’S search for a new head coach will NOT involve Ralf Rangnick, despite a flurry of bets on the German.
Former Schalke boss Rangnick saw his odds tumble from 100-1 to 4-1 with some bookmakers last week in the race to replace Paolo Di Canio at the Sunderland helm.
But the Echo understands that there has been no contact between the Black Cats and English-speaking Rangnick, who held talks over the vacant managerial positions at Everton last summer and West Brom 12 months earlier.
Sources close to Rangnick have also suggested that he is happy in his current role as a director of football for both Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig and is unlikely to welcome any advances from Sunderland.
Rangnick is thought to have been a name that has been debated among Sunderland’s hierarchy, but the club are still keen to appoint a younger, “tracksuit” manager to replace Di Canio, as the Echo reported when the Italian was axed a fortnight ago.
At 55, Rangnick does not fit that profile and he has been out of the dug-out since leaving his role at Schalke due to poor health in 2011.
But the quandary for Sunderland is over who they DO want to be the next head coach, rather than who is out of the running.
More than a fortnight has now passed since Di Canio was sacked and owner Ellis Short is still thought to be considering the options available, with no appointment expected imminently.
Gus Poyet remains the firm front-runner for the position, yet Sunderland have hesitated over the Uruguayan, despite the former Brighton boss being out of work and making no secret of his desire for the role.
Short was at the Stadium of Light on Saturday to watch the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United and he has seen both of caretaker boss Kevin Ball’s Premier League games in charge in the flesh.
Ball expects to discover the plans of Sunderland’s hierarchy over the next few days, with the two-week international break providing a window of opportunity to name Di Canio’s long-term successor.