Sunderland owner Ellis Short is closing in on a new director of football as he plans for the long-term future.
It is understood the club is ready to hand Lee Congerton the chance to succeed Roberto De Fanti at the Stadium of Light and oversee the club's recruitment wing.
Former Chelsea chief scout Congerton is currently employed as Hamburg's technical director after following Frank Arnesen from Stamford Bridge to Germany.
Short, who dispensed with De Fanti's services in January, is keen to persist with the model he adopted ahead of last summer's overhaul while Paolo Di Canio was still manager.
However, the 14 signings, 13 of them from overseas, made under the Italian failed to make the desired impact during the early months of the campaign and Di Canio was shown the door in September.
De Fanti lasted a further four months, but it soon became apparent that new boss Gus Poyet wanted more of a say in the club's January signings with then Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt his number one target.
Poyet's involvement in the winter transfer window - along with chief executive Margaret Byrne - proved time-consuming, and help on that front would be welcome, although perhaps on a different basis to the formula which existed on his arrival.