Preston North End boss Simon Grayson has today been given permission to hold talks with Championship rivals Sunderland over their vacant managerial position.
The BBC reports that confirmation of the appointment is expected either later today or tomorrow.
The Black Cats’ search for a new manager has stretched on following the resignation of David Moyes on May 22.
Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough was linked with the Wearsiders following a plunge in the odds that saw him become the bookmakers' favourite in the days following Moyes' departure - but the club confirmed at the time that no approach or contact had been made.
Sunderland have previously held talks with Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes, but no agreement was forthcoming - partly down to a disagreement over who would be running the club.
And it now seems that Preston boss Grayson - who led the Lilywhites to 11th in the second-tier table last term - is set for the Stadium of Light hotseat.
Preston confirmed in a statement on Thursday that they had allowed their manager to speak to Sunderland after he requested permission for the talks.
The Brewers will come up against Sunderland next season, following their relegation to the Championship from the Premier League last term. Their first meeting is at the Pirelli Stadium on November 25.