Roy Keane has admitted he intends to return to management in the future while Sunderland continue their search for his replacement.
The Black Cats will draw up a shortlist of candidates later this week - although former boss Peter Reid will not be on it - while Keane has spoken for the first time about his future plans.
Having reiterated his gratitude to those he worked with at Sunderland, Keane said in a statement released via the League Managers Association: "I have experienced and learnt a tremendous amount in the last 27 months and enjoyed the rigours of being a manager."
He added: "I look forward to building on those experiences and, sometime in the future, returning to football management."
The former Manchester United captain left the Stadium of Light last Thursday with the side in the bottom three following a 4-1 home defeat by Bolton.
On Wearside, meanwhile, the recruitment process is ongoing.
Reid, currently in charge of the Thailand national team, was quoted on Monday as saying he was ready to return to Wearside, where he spent seven largely successful years during the 1990s.
However, the 52-year-old moved to clarify his position after watching Thailand beat Laos 6-0 at the Suzuki Cup in Phuket.
"I said that in a certain amount of time I want go back to England," Reid said. "But I have a contract in Thailand that I want to fulfil. I didn't say I wanted to go back to Sunderland, sometimes in England you get mis-quoted."
Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn and his fellow board members are understood to be assessing more than 30 serious candidates before meeting in the next 48 hours to reduce the field to a handful of contenders.
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