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Wales boss Chris Coleman in lead to be Sunderland manager - sources

Craig Burley and Steve Nicol weigh the pros and cons of Chris Coleman leaving the Wales job to manage Sunderland.

Wales boss Chris Coleman has emerged as the clear front-runner for the vacant manager's job at Sunderland, sources close to the Welshman told ESPN FC.

Coleman's future as Wales manager has been in doubt following their failure to qualify for next summer's World Cup finals in Russia.

The 47-year-old has opened talks with the Football Association of Wales over a new deal, but after Tuesday's draw with Panama, he refused to rule out a return to club management.

Sunderland are searching for a new manager after sacking Simon Grayson in October following just 18 games in charge at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland are bottom of the Championship and keen to bring in a new manager as soon as possible to try and transform their fortunes.

Several names have been linked with the Sunderland job, including Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, but sources have said he is not interested in the job as he weighs up other options.

Coleman has been linked with several club positions in the last couple of years following his success with Wales after guiding the country to the semifinals of Euro 2016 in France.

Coleman has previous managerial experience at Fulham, Real Sociedad, Coventry and Greek side AEL, and Sunderland are now hoping to convince him to make a return to club management.

Peter O'Rourke is ESPN FC's transfer news correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @SportsPeteO.

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