Bruce Targetted as Sbragia's Successor?
BBC Sport are reporting that Sunderland Chairman Niall Quinn wants to hire Steve Bruce as Ricky Sbragia`s successor.
Bruce, however, is a very vocal Geordie, who has stated this on numerous when his teams have battled Sunderland over the years. But this may not be the only obstacle in Quinn`s pursuit of the Wigan boss.
'Wigan's owner Dave Whelan will not allow Bruce to leave without a fight,' states Ian Dennis , BBC Radio 5 Live's senior football reporter.
'Wigan paid Birmingham £3m for his services in November 2007 and I think they would want at least that in return.
'If a suitable compensation package can be reached then Bruce will be charged with transforming a Sunderland side that narrowly avoided relegation.
'I expect developments over the next few days.'
Whereas Ellis Short`s impending takeover should mean that the Black Cats could pick up the tab on any compensation package for Bruce, it remains to be seen whether this will be a popular choice amongst the Mackem fans.
After Roy Keane left the post, Quinn had stated that he was blown away by the calibre of candidates that had applied for the post and Quinn himself said that "...need somebody who will come in and attract the type of player that Sunderland needs.' Whether this is Steve Bruce it remains debateable. He has got a proven track record for finding and developing players, but would he be the high profile manager that would bring in the big name players that Sunderland fans have been craving over the years?
If Bruce does take over Sunderland, it will be his seventh managerial role with his sixth club since taking over at Sheffield United in 1998. He has also been in charge of Huddersfield, Crystal Palace and Birmingham in addition to two spells at Wigan.
Meanwhile, Martin Jol`s name can officially be taken off the list as he is set to take over Ajax. Other names in the frame include former Southampton and Coventry manager Gordon Strachan, who left Celtic yesterday; FC Twente`s ex-England boss Steve McClaren; Croatia head coach Slaven Bilic; ex Barcelona and Holland manager Frank Rijkarrd; and Dutchman Co Adriaanse, who is leaving Red Bull Salzburg this summer, having previously managed Ajax and led FC Porto to the Portuguese Championship.
Elsewhere, defender Peter Hartley is set to join Hartlepool on a free transfer. The 21-year-old Hartley has made only one appearance for Sunderland after progressing through the youth ranks, signing for the club in 2000.
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