He's been spotted in the north east and the odds of him taking over at Sunderland are plummeting by the minute. He's back, the one, the only Big Mick McCarthy.
Forget the fact that he knows the club and understands the fans, and forget the fact he has unfinished business at the Stadium of Light, there's three simple footballing reasons why Mick McCarthy is the right man for the Sunderland job right now.
No modernising required here
McCarthy's most recent venture, as manager of Ipswich Town, ended a little acrimoniously as the man himself, his employers and the fans in Suffolk grew bored of each other.
Big Mick's attempts to modernise the style of play he demanded from his Ipswich team had run aground amidst a lack of resolve and investment.
Digging in and winning games through hard work had been the simple style effectively employed during the best years of McCarthy's spell at Portman Road but once the fans tired of the same old, they began to demand a little more.
But down in League One, McCarthy will find a Sunderland squad devoid of even the 'same old' - hard work, digging in and tasting victory are facets long forgotten on Wearside. Third tier football requires little in the way of 'modernisation' and the Big Mick style is exactly what will be required.
Turning ordinary players into a team
Sunderland's downfall in recent years has been simply characterised by buying players that someone somewhere had identified as being 'good', throwing 'good' money at them, and then watching on as each proved unable to integrate into a coherent team.
McCarthy's 25 years in management have been built upon turning a bunch of relatively ordinary players into a team greater than the sum of its parts. And that's something that has been missing at Sunderland - barring that spell under Sam Allardyce - for many years.
The charismatic hard man likes a few hard b*stards in his team
McCarthy's own playing career had him 'enjoying' something of a hard man reputation as a central defender in the 1980s and his teams have traditionally employed a few tough lads in them.
Part of the reason Sunderland have been relegated from the Championship this season has been that the side has been too small and too light-weight. Brushed aside by some of the second-tier's biggest bruisers, the inability of Simon Grayson and Chris Coleman to entice robust enough players has been to the club's detriment.
A McCarthy League One outfit will no doubt be fully equipped with a physical target man and some burly stoppers at the back.
Big Mick has a reputation for taking no stick from his players, and quite frankly, those who remain at the Stadium of Light next season require a damn good arse kicking. Bring it on.
This isn't a nod to the romantic (?) memory of McCarthy's spell at Sunderland, which contained its share of ups and downs, it's a recognition that the 59-year-old is just what the Black Cats need for next season