Derek McInnes will take charge of Sunderland this week in a £1million “transfer” from Aberdeen.
The Dons’ manager is ready to accept the task of rebuilding the relegated Wearsiders in the Championship on a shoe-string budget.
McInnes has returned from a three-week holiday in the US to take a job fellow Scot David Moyes quit because of a lack of transfer cash.
The 45-year-old has just led Aberdeen to runners-up behind runaway champions Celtic in the SPFL for two seasons running, and a Scottish Cup final defeat to Brendan Rodgers’ Treble winners.
McInnes initially had concerns over Sunderland’s financial plight, and he is likely to get a tiny transfer budget so will hunt for bargains north of the border and in the Football League to revitalise the Black Cats.
He will bring his No2 Tony Docherty with him.
The £40m Premier League parachute payments Sunderland are due will go on covering the club’s wage bill, and the £30m fee from Everton for keeper Jordan Pickford towards clearing £69m in bank debts.
The situation McInnes inherits is further complicated by owner Ellis Short appointing a broker to sell the club, with early interest from a German consortium.
Pittodrie chairman Stewart Milne is in talks with Sunderland managing director Martin Bain and a deal over McInnes is close.
McInnes has Championship experience in a previous job as boss of Bristol City, who he joined in 2011 before being sacked in January 2013 when the club was bottom of the second tier. He was appointed at Aberdeen two months later.
Sunderland are scrapping for all the cash they are owed, including from the deal that saw them sell striker Ignacio Scocco to Newell’s Old Boys in summer 2014.
Argentine club Newell’s have defaulted on a payment and have been reported by Sunderland to FIFA, which is standard practice.
The world game’s governing body have powers to make them pay up, and Scocco, now 32, will not be returning to Wearside.