Wigan boss Steve Bruce has been given permission to talk to Sunderland about their managerial vacancy, it is understood.
The former Manchester United defender has emerged as the front-runner to succeed Ricky Sbragia at the Stadium of Light after the Scot stepped aside at the weekend following his team's narrow escape from Barclays Premier League relegation.
Reports claimed a compensation package had already been agreed with the Latics, clearing the way for Bruce to discuss personal terms with the Wearsiders.
Sunderland continued to deny that this is the case, although it is understood Wigan could make an official announcement later on Wednesday.
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