Sunderland line up Moyes as FA continue their pursuit of Big Sam
The Football Association's hunt for the next England manager seems increasingly likely to give David Moyes a route back to the Premier League, with Sunderland placing him at the top of their list if Sam Allardyce succeeds Roy Hodgson
Moyes has been out of work since he was sacked by Real Sociedad in November last year after a poor start to the La Liga season.
But his difficult three years since leaving Everton for Manchester United have not affected Sunderland chairman Ellis Short's view that the Scot is the man to help guide the Wearside club away from the relegation struggles which have bedevilled them in recent years.
Short is attracted by Moyes' record in taking Everton into the Europa League and keeping the Merseyside club on the coattails of the Premier League's richest sides, despite a relative lack of resources throughout most of his 11 years at Goodison until United came calling.
With Allardyce the favourite to be handed the England position, the Sunderland chairman is also desperate to avoid being dumped into a search for a new manager just as the season starts. Approaches are already being made indirectly to ascertain Moyes' interest, while Burnley manager Sean Dyche - who was on the Wearside club's radar before Allardyce was hired - is another of interest to Sunderland.
Moyes, however, provides a pedigree in Premier League success.
Allardyce has told the Black Cats that he has been given no guarantees by England and was back at work on Thursday looking to kick-start a quiet transfer window for the club.
The FA's pursuit of their chosen candidate is likely to intensify next week.
There are several other possible candidates beyond Allardyce, including the United States manager Jurgen Klinnsman, who will be interviewed.
Ideally, England want to make an appointment some weeks before the first international game of the new era - a friendly against as-yet unnamed opposition on September 1, which it is anticipated will be held at Wembley Stadium.
The World Cup qualifier against Slovakia follows three days later. Though achieving that goal now seems highly likely, the notion of an interim manager guiding England through the first World Cup qualifiers has not been entirely dismissed.
Meanwhile, Middlesbrough have signed Valencia defender Antonio Barragan on a three-year deal.
The 29-year-old has made over 100 appearances for the Spanish side, scoring twice, after spells at Deportivo La Coruna and Valladolid.
The right-back also has English experience, having been at Liverpool when he was 18.