Gus Poyet has reportedly ruled himself out of the reckoning to become the new Sunderland manager.
Sky Sports News' Keith Downie has revealed this afternoon that the former Black Cats boss would prefer to not drop down to League One, despite being the bookies favourite.
Chronicle Live understands that Sunderland have spoken to a number of candidates with a decision set to be made ahead of the weekend clash with Wigan Atheltic.
Victory against Burton Albion tonight would give the Sunderland board more time to go over a decision, but failure to win would heap more pressure on any incoming manager to achieve automatic promotion.
Downie tweeted: "Gus Poyet will NOT be making a dramatic return to Sunderland - despite a big shift in the bookies’ odds.
"The Uruguayan was a candidate, but I understand he would prefer not to drop down to League One. Poyet left Sunderland when they were in the Premier League in 2015.
"I understand Sunderland have spoken to a number of candidates in the past 48 hours abs have been inundated with applications.
"Poyet was a candidate but won’t be coming back."