Things are looking up for Sunderland right now.
Though the Stewart Donald era does serve as a warning that new owners are not an absolute guarantee of better days, optimism has been sparse on Wearside in recent years, so you'd forgive any fan for looking ahead amid reports a takeover could soon be close.
According to reports published over the weekend by French outlet L'Equipe (via the Shields Gazette) another big step could soon be taken.
They claim that interviews have taken place in regards to appointing a new sporting director.
Indeed, a short-list of four is believed to have been whittled down as the prospective new owners look to lay the foundations in an attempt to finally get the club out of the third division.
For Sunderland fans, it should be music to the ears.
Not since 2015 have the Black Cats had someone to fill this role amid a raft of poor signings.
Even aside from the kind of additions to have wrecked their finances during the David Moyes era and beyond (the likes of Lamine Kone spring to mind), Sunderland's recruitment has been poor at times.
Indeed, signings such as Lee Camp, Dylan McGeouch and Will Grigg have all been criticised, so having someone who can at least help foster a philosophy in that department will surely be a boost.
Should the right man arrive, this is good news for Sunderland.
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