The jungle drums suggest Sunderland have narrowed down their short list, with two names featuring prominently in the news this morning. O'Neill or Heckingbottom with an outside shout of McCoist. Is today the day the club make their approach?
It seems entirely possible that Sunderland will have a new manager watching from the stands for Saturday's visit of Millwall. Robbie Stockdale is sure to be in the dugout regardless of who has been installed however, the new man even if appointed will have had precious little time to suss out his squad options.
This morning's better-than-evens favourite remains Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom with the 40-year-old set to gain a whacking pay rise to take over the troubled Black Cats. If you need help with decimal bets why not use a betting calculator like betulator.
The papers suggest Heckingbottom will be offered £750k a year to rescue Sunderland from the threat of relegation to League One. Quite the saving though on David Moyes' reported £3m a year before the miserable Scot downed the club from the Premier League but a huge pay-rise on what Barnsley presently pay their boss.
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill is the other name prominently mentioned but it seems likely the Portadown-born manager will see either Glasgow Rangers or the Scotland job as a better fit for him with his reputation at a career-high following the Green and White's World Cup Qualifying exploits.
The Northern Echo claim Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain has interviewed two candidates this week and he would have had to seek permission from Barnsley to speak with 'Hecky'. It seems likely the pair who donned their best suit to meet with the CEO were out of work managers or prospective newbies then because surely word would have leaked that the Black Cats were in talks with any in-work figure. Karanka perhaps, McCoist or some random other.
Whoever the interviewed pair were, it seems one of them was told he wasn't any longer in the running. Or so a social media posting from former Sunderland Echo journalist Graeme Anderson would suggest.
The reporter has claimed to have spoken to one figure who informed him the club would take his application no further. Anderson has also suggested whoever it was, it was a foreign candidate who few on Wearside will have instantly heard of.
If Sunderland are to gain some lost ground it seems making an approach for their chosen target today will do just that. It may even reignite a little lost interest ahead of Saturday's home game.