Ipswich set to miss out on Ross with St Mirren boss set for Sunderland job

Jack Ross is reported to have agreed terms to take over as the next Sunderland manager. Picture: PA

Jack Ross is reported to have agreed terms to take over as the next Sunderland manager. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Ipswich Town managerial target Jack Ross is reported to have agreed terms to become the next manager of Sunderland.

Blues owner Marcus Evans spoke with the St Mirren manager on two occasions and has been the bookies’ favourite for the post for a number of weeks, after it was revealed Ipswich had been granted permission to speak with the PFA Scottish Manager of the Year.

But Ross was not offered the position at Portman Road and remained in what was believed to have been a two-horse race with Shrewsbury manager Paul Hurst, who is believed to have been a long-held target of Evans, for the position left vacant by Mick McCarthy.

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Ipswich’s search for a new manager has been complicated by the fact Hurst’s Shrewsbury are in action against Rotherham on Sunday in the League One play-off final, with the Blues unable to speak to the Shrews boss until after that game.

But it appears Ross is now heading for the Stadium of Light, with the Black Cats new owner, Stewart Donald, revealing this morning that he had agreed terms with his new manager as he plots an instant return to the Championship following relegation last season.

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That manager is expected to be Ross, according to reports in both the North East and in Scotland, although no announcement has been made. He has been the odds on favourite for the role this week, with reports is suggesting the Scot has been the new regime’s prime target.

It has also been reported that Sunderland will pay £50,000 in compensation for the St Mirren manager, with his salary five-times the amount he earns in Scotland.

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St Mirren have stressed they have not received an official approach from Sunderland to speak to their manager, with chairman Gordon Scott saying: “There has been no contact with us and Jack is on holiday abroad so unless there is some major skullduggery going on it’s nonsense.”

An official announcement could come as soon as this afternoon.

The spotlight will now shine brighter on Sunday’s League One play-off final, in which Hurst will be looking to add another promotion to an already impressive CV.

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It would be the fourth promotion of Hurst’s career, with one each coming at Ilkeston, Boston and Grimsby. He took the Mariners back into the Football League in 2016 but soon departed for current club Shrewsbury, where he initially steered the Shropshire side away from the bottom of the table to secure safety in League One.

The turnaround this season has been remarkable, with the Shrews outperforming their modest playing budget to remain in the thick of the promotion race throughout the season. Hurst’s side will look to complete the job this weekend.

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