Dick Advocaat has rejected the opportunity to stay at Sunderland, leaving the Wearside club on the lookout for a new head coach.
The 67-year-old was called in to replace Gus Poyet on 17 March, with the Black Cats in grave danger of losing their place in the Premier League. Advocaat led his side to three wins in the nine matches he was at the helm for, including a 1-0 triumph over rivals Newcastle United, and a five-game unbeaten run climaxed with the confirmation of survival with one fixture to spare.
Although the Dutchman only signed a short-term contract until the end of the season, Sunderland made no secret of their desire to extend his stay at the Stadium of Light. The experienced coach revealed last week that he would consider what the club had to say, but he has now confirmed he has left his position after rejecting the offer of a three-year contract with the top-flight outfit.
“At certain moments in life you have to make a decision and I am almost 68 years old. A number of clubs contacted me but the decision was always Sunderland or nobody,” he told the club’s website. “I would like to thank the chairman, the staff and of course the fans. We gave everything and achieved what we set out to. Sunderland has been one of the highlights of my career.”
Sam Allardyce is now expected to succeed Advocaat, having left his role as West Ham United manager at the end of the season. The 60-year-old isn’t expected to stay away from the dugout for long, and he has an association with Sunderland having played for them in 1980-81. Other options could include Steve McClaren, who was sacked by Derby County earlier this week, and Paul Clement, the former Real Madrid assistant who is thought to be keen to take a head coach role.