Sunderland Learn Stance Of Managerial Candidate

Will Still is expected to remain at French club Reims, despite Sunderland’s interest in the 31-year-old taking over their vacant managerial position, according to Score.fr.

The Black Cats made the decision to part company with Tony Mowbray earlier this week following a run of one win in five games. Their latest setback – a disappointing 1-1 draw with Millwall – sealed the 60-year-old’s fate and the search is on to find a replacement before the hectic run of holiday fixtures.

Sunderland host fellow promotion hopefuls West Bromwich Albion tomorrow before Leeds United visit the Stadium of Light next Tuesday. Interim manager Mike Dodds will be targeting a good return as he looks to close the gap on those above them. Hull City currently sit three points above the Wearsider’s in the final play-off place, who have slipped down to ninth in recent weeks.

With the games coming thick and fast, the Championship outfit will be looking at a swift appointment and a number of names have already been targeted. Nice assistant coach Julien Sablé and IFK Varnamo manager Kim Hellberg are high on the list, with the latter reportedly having been interviewed earlier this week.

It is said that an interest remains in Reims boss Will Still, who hit the headlines last year when he was handed his first managerial job despite not holding the required qualifications to do so. As a result, the Ligue 1 side were fined €25,000 for each game in which he took charge.

The young manager committed his future to the club in the summer by signing a contract until 2025 and reports from France state that it is unlikely that he will depart mid-season whilst Reims are in a battle to secure an unlikely Champions League spot. Still has guided his team up to fifth, where they sit three points behind LOSC Lille in fourth – the final qualifying spot for Europe’s elite competition.

Speaking earlier this year, the Belgian admitted that he would be tempted in a move to the Championship after seeing the success achieved by compatriot Vincent Kompany:

“Vincent Kompany was at Anderlecht last year and has gone into the Championship and has done an unbelievable job. I think the Championship rivals many of the top leagues in the world. All the doors are open. I’m not closing anything at any time.”

Reims would be due a hefty amount of compensation should Sunderland convince Still to head to the North East, which may make other options more attractive.

Writer’s View

It seems only a matter of time before Will Still takes a job in England. However, he is likely to stay put for now as he looks to guide Reims into European competition.

Sunderland are still a big lure and it is interesting to see the names that appear to be at the top of their wishlist. It seems that they are planning for the long-term and targeting younger, inexperienced managers when it would be easy to opt for a quick fix in order to secure Premier League football. Neil Warnock immediately springs to mind, but this would mean that the search would begin all over again in the summer.

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