Sunderland will open talks with Sam Allardyce on Friday regarding their managerial vacancy, according to Sky sources.
Allardyce, who left West Ham at the end of last season, looks the hot favourite to take over from Dick Advocaat, who stepped down after Saturday's 2-2 draw with the Hammers.
Sky Sports News HQ understands that he will be offered a short-term contract until the end of the season.
Allardyce has been on holiday in Spain as Sunderland's interest in him has emerged, but chairman Ellis Short will now look to persuade him to resume his career on Wearside following his exit from Upton Park after four years at the end of last season.
His proven track record for establishing clubs in the top flight makes him attractive to Short, who has seen Sunderland flirt with relegation for too much of his reign, only rescuing themselves with remarkable late runs at the end of each of the last three campaigns.
They are yet to win a league game in eight attempts to date this season, and Advocaat voiced the opinion after his exit that the current squad is simply not good enough.
In the circumstances, Short's ability to convince Allardyce that the 68-year-old Dutchman's view was harsh - or perhaps more importantly, his readiness to provide cash to strengthen further in January - may be the crux of their talks.
Former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson and ex-USA coach Bob Bradley have also been linked with the job.