Simon Grayson to leave Preston for Sunderland job

Manager’s move could have big implications for Irish contingent at his former club

 Simon Grayson: poised to take over the reins at relegated Sunderland in the  Championship. Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images

Simon Grayson: poised to take over the reins at relegated Sunderland in the Championship. Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images

 

Simon Grayson is expected to be named as the new manager of Sunderland over the next 24 hours in a move that could have major implications for the Irish contingent at Preston North End.

His current club gave Grayson permission to speak to Sunderland after he had indicated his desire to explore the possibility of a move to the Stadium of Light. His contract contains a clause regarding compensation which, it is reported, would amount to something in the region of €850,000.

A proposed takeover of Sunderland appears to have fallen through and the club has debts of more than €100 million but there have been assurances about the continued commitment of current owner Ellis Short and the expectation is that Grayson would have more money to spend than is currently the case at Deepdale.

The tight budget there, though, has contributed to his focus on Irish players and having signed Andy Boyle, Daryl Horgan and, most recently, Sean Maguire from League of Ireland sides, there will be some concern about how they might fare under a new manager.

There is already some speculation, meanwhile, that Aiden McGeady, who did well while on loan from Everton at the Championship club last season and had been expected to return, might now be an early recruit for Grayson at Sunderland instead.

The bulk of the Preston squad returned to pre-season training yesterday although Horgan, Boyle and Alan Browne have been given another week off due to their involvement with the Irish international team.

The club confirmed that it had given Grayson, who has been in charge since 2013, permission to speak with their rivals although the tone of the statement made it fairly clear they had little option.

Sunderland have been looking for a new manager since the departure of David Moyes in May and had recently been rebuffed by Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes.

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