Sunderland have ended their interest in making Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom their new manager, according to Sky sources.
The 40-year-old, who confirmed earlier this week that he had not been approached by the fellow Championship club, was among their targets.
But he has become another name to drop out of the frame, after Sky Sports News reported earlier this week that Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill was not interested in the role.
Ex-Rangers manager Ally McCoist has also been considered by the Black Cats, while a number of other managers are understood to be keen for the chance to succeed the sacked Simon Grayson, including Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst.
Robbie Stockdale remains in caretaker charge ahead of their clash with Millwall on Saturday, and he is working on his own after the departure of Billy McKinlay to join former Sunderland boss David Moyes at West Ham.
WATCH Sunderland owner Ellis Short discusses the club's plight with Sky Sports News
Sunderland, who were relegated from the Premier League under Moyes last season, are bottom of the Championship after 16 games with just a solitary win to their name.
Sky Sports football expert Don Goodman believes the players at the club are the issue, and owner Ellis Short recently admitted in a rare interview with Sky Sports News that the club needs to change.