Preston North End manager Simon Grayson has been given permission to speak with Sunderland about their vacant manager's role.
The Lilywhites released a statement on Thursday lunchtime saying Sunderland had contacted them about Grayson and that the PNE boss had requested he be allowed to speak with them.
While this happens, coach Steve Thompson has been placed in charge of first-team affairs - the squad reported back for training today.
The statement read: "Preston North End have today been contacted by Sunderland Football Club to ask permission to speak to Simon Grayson in relation to their vacant managerial position.
"Having spoken to Simon, he has asked permission to speak to the Black Cats and therefore the club had no option but to allow these conversations to take place, with a compensation package already guaranteed in his contract.
"Whilst these talks are ongoing, Steve Thompson will be in charge of first team affairs.
"The club will make no further comment at this stage."
Grayson has been in charge at North End since February 2013 and is their longest-serving manager since the 1960s.
He previously managed Blackpool, Leeds United and Huddersfield.