Black Cats have collected just one point so far from their opening five top-flight contests.
Promising Blackpool head coach Paul Ince has emerged as a surprise candidate to take over from the recently departed Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio at the Stadium of Light this season, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The controversial Italian was given his marching orders by the Black Cats on Sunday, with the north-east outfit sitting rock bottom of the Premier League table having yet to win a single top-flight match so far in this campaign.
Di Canio’s final game in charge of the Premier League strugglers came on Saturday as they went down 3-0 to West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, and now director of football Roberto De Fanti is said to be compiling a wish list of possible contenders to replace Di Danio in the Stadium of Light hot seat.
And the name of former West Ham United, Manchester United, Inter Milan and Liverpool midfield player Ince is understood to be featuring prominently on De Fanti’s short list, with the ex-England international captain having steered the seasiders to fourth place in the Championship standings, just three points off current pace-setters Queens Park Rangers.
However, the one sticking point to appointing Ince, 45, is the fact that he is in work at present, as are other possible candidates such as Watford boss Gianfranco Zola and Celtic coach Neil Lennon, which may therefore pave the way clear for either one-time Brighton and Hove Albion trainer Gus Poyet or former West Brom and Chelsea head coach Roberto Di Matteo, who are both currently out of work.