Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom denies Sunderland approach

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 16 November 2017, 11:33

Paul Heckingbottom has rubbished reports that Sunderland have approached Barnsley for his services, however the Tykes boss remains the odds-on favourite to switch Championship dugouts.

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Rock-bottom Sunderland have been managerless since sacking Simon Grayson last month, minutes after a 3-3 draw with fellow strugglers Bolton.

In the last few days Heckingbottom has been hotly linked with the post, but in Friday’s press conference he told the media he’s had no contact with the Black Cats:

"As it stands there is nothing in it”

"In the time I've been here there have been opportunities to go and if I didn't want to be here then I wouldn't be here.

"Everyone knows how much I love it here."

(Quotes via BBC Sport)

The rumours are unlikely to end there through with Sunderland reportedly lining up an approach for Heckingbottom, who led Barnsley up to the Championship in 2016.

Former Sunderland striker Ally McCoist, who spent two seasons at the club in the 1980s, has expressed his interest in the job, telling talkSPORT that he’s very keen:

"Of course. Why would you not. Sunderland's a fantastic club and a place which is very close to my heart.

Whether Sunderland would be willing to gamble on McCoist remains to be seen. The Scot has only held one position in the managerial area, with Rangers, and that was three years ago.

According to reports the club are believed to be interested in Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill who is considering his next steps in football after his country missed out on a place in the World Cup.

Former Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka remains in the frame, while Roy Keane is a 20/1 shot to return to the Wearside dugout.

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