ROY KEANE is in advanced talks with Sunderland about becoming their new manager, according to reports.
The 50-year-old is said to have impressed Black Cats bosses following his interview at the club on Friday.
And he is now being tipped as the frontrunner to succeed Lee Johnson following his sacking.
According to The Mail, Sunderland are planning second interviews with candidates for later this week.
Grant McCann and Alex Neil both remain in the frame if a deal with Keane collapses.
But Sunderland are confident the Irishman is the man for the job as they look to appoint a new head coach until at least the end of the season.
When asked last week about the possibility of taking the role, Keane told ITV: "I made it clear over the last few years I would like to go back into football as manager one day.
"But of course the club has to want you and you have to want to go to that club and the contract has be right.
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"Let's see what takes shape over the next few days."
Fans of the club are generally thought to be behind Keane – who led them to the Championship title in 2007.
He was in charge of the club between 2006 and 2008.
Sunderland sacked him after five defeats in six games with the team sitting 18th in the Premier League.
The North East outfit currently sit fourth in League One having slipped out of the automatic promotion spots after two defeats in a row.
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A humiliating 6-0 loss to Bolton spelled the end of Johnson's reign at the club.
And they then followed that up with a 2-1 home defeat to bottom of the league Doncaster Rovers.
Sunderland will be hoping they can secure promotion back to the second tier four years on from suffering back-to-back relegations.
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