Sunderland moved a step closer to appointing Steve Bruce as their new manager after agreeing a compensation fee with Wigan chairman Dave Whelan.
Bruce, 48, was given permission by Whelan to speak to the Black Cats about their vacant managerial post last week.
With the compensation package agreed Sunderland hope to agree personal terms with Bruce.
Bruce guided the Latics to 11th in the Premier League this season. The former Manchester United defender started his managerial career at Sheffield United in 1998 and has since been in charge of Huddersfield, Crystal Palace and Birmingham in addition to two spells at Wigan.
Whelan meanwhile insists he has nobody in mind as a replacement if Bruce does leave Wigan.
“It’s not something I do,” he said. “I just wait to see what the outcome is and then face reality.
“If we’ve got to get a new manager, we’ll advertise and we’ll have 20 applications in and there will be some good lads among them.”