Former Sunderland midfielder Stefan Schwarz has expressed his interest in the vacant manager's job as the Black Cats look for a replacement for David Moyes.
The 48-year-old Swede, who made 76 appearances for Peter Reid's side as they finished in seventh place in the Premier League in both 1999-00 and 2000-01, holds the FIFA Pro Licence and has worked as assistant manager at Helsingborg and with the Sweden Under-21s squad.
Schwarz told the Evening Chronicle: "I spent four very good years at Sunderland and it is a club that I care very much for.
"I have played for some very big clubs in Europe and won a lot of trophies, but my time at Sunderland is right up there with any of those.
"I think I understand the mentality of the Sunderland fans, and the culture of the area. Sunderland teams have to have an identity, and the players need to know their duties and responsibilities to each other.
"I also know how to work with players from many different cultures, which is important in the modern game.
"Of course if the chance came to manage Sunderland, I would be very interested."
Owner Ellis Short's last three appointments - Dick Advocaat, Sam Allardyce and Moyes - have been vastly experienced, and as chief executive Martin Bain draws up a shortlist of potential candidates, it remains to be seen whether or not he will consider men looking to launch their managerial careers with Schwarz's former Black Cats team-mate Kevin Phillips currently figuring prominently in the betting.