Sunderland are on the hunt for a new manager after Dick Advocaat left the club following the expiry of his contract.
Despite leading the Black Cats to Premier League survival, the Dutch manager elected not to prolong his contract with the club even though they offered him an extended stay, having originally agreed a deal until the end of the season.
It means that Sunderland owner Ellis Short will be on the lookout for a fifth manager in the space of just over two years, with the dismissal of Martin O'Neill in March 2013 paving the way for Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet and most recently Advocaat to come and go at the Stadium of Light.
So who could take the vacancy at the North-west club and bid to keep them in the top flight next season?
Click on the gallery below to see the candidates in the running for the job.
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.
Allardyce is currently the bookmakers' favourite, although whether he would favour an immediate return to football after being released by West Ham remains uncertain.
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