Sunderland are on the verge of naming Steve Bruce as their new manager after agreeing a compensation package with Wigan Athletic.
The 48-year-old former Manchester United defender is currently on holiday in Portugal but is believed to be close to agreeing personal terms with the Black Cats.
Latics chairman Dave Whelan has accepted Sunderland's offer of compensation for Bruce having paid Birmingham City £3million in order to secure his services in November 2007.
Bruce is believed to have grown disillusioned at the JJB Stadium after losing Emile Heskey and Wilson Palacios in January.
Several other players including Luis Antonio Valencia are also expected to leave the club this summer.
Sunderland made Bruce their number one choice to take charge following Ricky Sbragia's decision to step down after steering the club away from the relegation zone in the season just ended.