Alex McLeish is among those who believe Derek McInnes would find it impossible to say no if Sunderland come calling.
The Aberdeen manager’s link with the Black Cats came almost immediately after Davie Moyes was axed in the wake of their relegation from the English Premier League.
It has been fuelled by the fact Sunderland’s chief executive Martin Bain has called on former Rangers boss Walter Smith to help him seek out the right successor to Moyes.
Both men know McInnes well and are aware of how well he has done at Pittodrie over the last four seasons.
Ryan Giggs has today emerged as the new bookmakers’ favourite for the job south of the border.
But it is also being claimed the Black Cats still see McInnes as their favoured choice.
A poll conducted by the Sunderland Echo showed that 58% of those who took part want McInnes to be their new manager.
Reports south of the border claim McInnes has privately expressed an interest and some even say he has already met Bain and Smith for talks. Reports this morning say that meeting will actually take place within the nxt 48 hours.
That has yet to be confirmed by Sunderland and the Dons are refusing to comment about their manager’s situation.
Plenty of others have been speaking about it, though. They are unanimous in their views that McInnes would be mad not to jump at the chance to take over one of England’s biggest clubs.
Former Dons defender and Gothenburg Great McLeish said: “I would go to Sunderland in a shot if I was offered the job. Derek has done a great job at Aberdeen but the opportunity to take one of the big jobs in England doesn’t come along too often. And Sunderland is a big job.”
Former Norwich City boss Alex Neil is another who feels it would be too big a lure for McInnes, even though he believes it could be tougher than many are predicting. Neil said: “I think if Derek gets offered the job he will take it.
“I think he will look at it as a great opportunity for himself.
“But it is a difficult job because an experienced manager like David Moyes has chosen to leave.
“The amount of money some of the players were going to be getting paid there for operating at the level you’re going to be operating at then becomes part of the problem. The fact is you can’t move some of these lads on, so you’ve got to try and get the best out of them. That can prove to be difficult at times.”
McInnes insisted after their Scottish Cup final defeat by Celtic that he was still fully committed to the Dons and working on bringing in some new signings.”