Dick Advocaat has performed an incredible U-turn and signed a new one-year contract to return to Sunderland just a week after leaving the club.
The Dutchman came in at the Stadium of Light after Gus Poyet was sacked earlier this year, and guided them to Premier League safety before announcing he would leave the club.
He informed Black Cats owner Ellis Short that he would not be staying with the club because his wife is keen for him to retire and joked that a new contract would result in him getting “a divorce”, but has been persuaded to stay after signing a new deal to stay at the club.
Sunderland manager candidates
Sunderland manager candidates
1/6 Sam Allardyce
Former Sunderland defender Allardyce was swiftly installed as the bookmakers' favourite following Sunday's announcement that his contract at West Ham would not be renewed. He is undoubtedly a safe pair of hands, but does not fit readily into the continental model Short has introduced at the Stadium of Light and has indicated he will take several months out of the game after his spell at Upton Park.
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2/6 Paul Clement
Carlo Ancelotti's number two at Real Madrid has been touted as a candidate for several Barclays Premier League jobs in the last six months and has a relationship with the Black Cats' sporting director Lee Congerton following their time together at Chelsea. However, timing may prove crucial with Derby understood to be closing in on him as they look to replace Steve McClaren.
3/6 Steve McClaren
McClaren was sacked by Derby on Monday after failing to achieve promotion to the Premier League for the second successive year. The former Middlesbrough boss has been courted by derby rivals Newcastle - who are also looking for a head coach - in recent months and a return to the north-east, where he won the Carling Cup in 2004 and steered Boro to the 2006 UEFA Cup final, could appeal.
4/6 David Moyes
Moyes was appointed Real Sociedad boss in November last year on his return to management after being relieved of his duties at Manchester United. He is contracted until the summer of next year, but, given his experience in England's top flight, is likely to be linked with every job which comes up, although he insisted earlier this week he is happy where he is.
5/6 Sean Dyche
Despite being unable to preserve Burnley's top-flight status, Dyche enhanced his reputation during the club's brief stay in the big time. However, his commitment to the Clarets and the task of restoring them to the Premier League may mean potential suitors are wasting their time.
6/6 Kevin Phillips
Phillips would certainly enjoy popular support in Wearside, where he is fondly remembered for the goals which helped to propel the club into the limelight and secure successive top-seven finishes. He revealed recently that he has ambitions to return as manager, but admitted he is not ready to do so yet, and the chances are Sunderland will be looking for greater experience.
A statement issued by the club on their official website said: "Sunderland AFC is delighted to announce the appointment of Dick Advocaat as head coach.
"The highly-experienced Dutchman has put pen to paper on a one-year deal at the Stadium of Light."
Advocaat explained why he he was convinced to return to the helm and spend another year in the Premier League.
“After a lot of discussions with Ellis and Lee [Congerton], they convinced me that I am the right man for the club," said Advocaat.
“It was a great feeling to be part of Sunderland in the last few months, the experience was something very special and after talking with Lee, Ellis and of course my family, we all agree it is the right decision.”
Sunderland owner Short added: “Dick’s credentials in football are top class and we saw what an impact his vast knowledge and experience had on our team and the club as a whole in just two months.
“Sunderland fans took him to their hearts and so did everyone at the club, so we are absolutely thrilled that he will be here longer term.”
Advocaat will have a mammoth task to turn around Sunderland’s fortunes after they toyed with relegation for another season, ending up just two places above the drop zone at the end of the campaign after the final day defeat to champions Chelsea.
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