Sunderland’s search for a new manager is finally over, after they appointed Preston North End’s Simon Grayson on a three-year contract.
Having limped out of the Premier League without so much as a fight last season, the Black Cats parted company with David Moyes on 22 May. Derek McInnes was the first choice to succeed his Scottish compatriot, but despite holding talks with the club, he decided to stay at Aberdeen.
Chris Wilder was another name reportedly on the list of potential appointments, but after leading Sheffield United to the League One title he is on the verge of signing a new contract. And Jurgen Klinsmann, a free agent, distanced himself from the job earlier this week.
But the Wearside club have now finally filled the void left by Moyes, after Grayson signed a three-year deal on Thursday. The 47-year-old was given permission by Preston to speak to the club earlier this week, and he will now prepare for a pre-season training camp in Austria with his new players.
“I am delighted to come to Sunderland, a club with such wonderful history and tradition, and I’m excited by the opportunity to manage this club and I want to bring the good times back,” he said. “Sunderland are so fortunate to have such tremendous support and I want to give these fans a team they can be proud of. I want a group of players full of desire, team spirit and a never-say-die attitude.”
Grayson, who has also managed Blackpool, Leeds United and Huddersfield Town, will arrive at Sunderland with a depleted squad. Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has left for Everton in a £30million deal, and Jermain Defoe has taken advantage of a clause in his contract to sign for Bournemouth on a free transfer. And Fabio Borini is on the verge of a move to Milan, who will pay £5.3million for his signature.