Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has been inundated with applications from around the world for the manager's job vacated by Roy Keane.
Within hours of the 37-year-old's departure, Quinn, who had earlier reluctantly accepted his former Republic of Ireland team-mate's resignation, was being contacted by prospective replacements.
It is understood a growing list of candidates includes several with impressive pedigrees, a measure of the way in which Keane helped to raise the club's profile during his 27 months at the helm.
When Quinn and his Drumaville partners started the process of recruiting a manager back in the summer of 2006, they were unable to persuade the likes of Sam Allardyce, Martin O'Neill and Alan Curbishley their future lay at the Stadium of Light.
However, club insiders are confident this time around, they have the pulling power to attract a man with a proven track record, and that in part is down to the foundations laid by Keane during his time on Wearside.
Allardyce, who opted to stay with Bolton three summers ago, has already indicated his interest in the post after 11 months out of work following his departure from Newcastle.
The 54-year-old did little to enhance his reputation at St James' Park, where he was in charge for just eight months, but he enjoys popular support on Wearside.
Allardyce made 27 appearances for the club between July 1980 and September the following year, and worked as Peter Reid's youth manager between September 1996 and January 1997.
The Dudley-born boss currently leads the betting with former Bolton assistant Phil Brown having distanced himself from the vacancy.
Curbishley also has support among the club's fans, while Celtic's Gordon Strachan has attracted money, as has former England manager Steve McClaren, currently in charge at Dutch side FC Twente, although he is not thought to be in the running.
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