St Mirren have confirmed they have given their manager Jack Ross permission to speak to Sunderland.
Sunderland and Ross have agreed terms on a two-year deal to replace Chris Coleman at the Stadium of Light, with the option of a third year, according to Sky sources.
Sunderland are paying St Mirren £50,000 in compensation for their manager, and are believed to have offered Ross five times what he is being paid in Scotland.
A statement on the Saints website read: “St Mirren Football Club can confirm we received a formal approach from Sunderland AFC this afternoon for permission to speak to our manager Jack Ross.
“After agreeing to our terms we have reluctantly given them permission to speak to Jack about their vacant managers position.”
The 41-year-old Scot won the PFA manager of the year award in Scotland after leading St Mirren to the Championship title this season.
Ross had been in the frame to succeed Mick McCarthy as manager at Ipswich, and admitted last week there had been “communication” between St Mirren and the Championship side.
New Sunderland owner Stewart Donald – who completed a £40m takeover of the club on Monday – stated earlier this week that Coleman could be in line for a shock return to the club.
He was sacked by previous owner Ellis Short last month, but Donald said:”I wouldn’t rule out potentially talking to Chris.”
Speaking to Talksport on Wednesday, Donald added: “I need to get the manager right and I need to get recruitment right.
“Ellis Short was an absent owner and it’s created the wrong culture in the club because people weren’t spending their own money.”