Bruce given permission to speak to Sunderland

Steve Bruce has been given permission to speak to Sunderland about the possibility of taking over the vacant managerial position at the club. The current Wigan manager is the bookies favourite to take over from interim boss Ricky Sbragia who stepped down on Sunday.

The Guardian reports that the two clubs have already agreed a compensation package somewhere in the region of £5m which would allow the former Manchester United captain to move to the Stadium of Light but the North East club have refuted these claims.

Bruce also refused to be drawn on the matter: "There's always speculation and you cannot stop that. It is flattering. But I'm very, very pleased with what's happened with us [Wigan] and I'm quite pleased with what's happening in the future, so we'll see what develops."

It was a busy day for Sunderland with American businessman Ellis Short assuming 100 per cent control of the club while former striker Niall Quinn is set to continue in his role as chairman.

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