The Black Cats have been without a manager since sacking Paolo Di Canio a fortnight ago after their 3-0 defeat to West Brom following a poor start to the season.
The former Swindon boss had been in charge for less than six months after taking over from Martin O'Neil, and left Sunderland with just one point in the league this season.
Poyet has been without a club, after being sacked at the end of last season by Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion, despite leading them to the play-off semi-finals, and the Uruguayan was openly criticised by the board.
Talks between Poyet and Sunderland had begun shortly after Di Canio's dismissal, but with favourite Roberto Di Matteo distancing himself with the job, it has left the door open for the Poyet.
Kevin Ball has been in temporary charge of the strugglers and saw his side nearly cause a huge upset to Premier League Champions Manchester United, as well as showing positive signs in their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool last week, but it looks as though Poyet is the owner Ellis Short's preferred man.
Sunderland have a two-week window to appoint a new manager with the international break coming up.
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