Former Newcastle United captain emerges as shock favourite to become next Sunderland manager

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Scott Parker has been out of work since losing his job at Clubb Brugge last season

Former Newcastle United captain Scott Parker is now the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Michael Beale at Sunderland.

The Black Cats pulled the trigger on Beale after just 12 games last week. A heavy defeat to Newcastle just five fixtures into his tenure provided an early indication of how the appointment would turn out.

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Losing 1-0 to Huddersfield Town 10 days ago proved fatal and forced Sunderland chiefs - who received flak for sacking Tony Mowbray in December - into a rethink. There were no signs of an instant bounce at the weekend as the Black Cats, now sitting eight points outside the play-off spots, slumped to a 2-1 home defeat to Swansea City.

Talk about Sunderland’s next appointment had cooled but bookies are now backing a shock front-runner in the race. Ex-Toon skipper Parker has been out of work since losing his job at Club Brugge last season.

His last job in English football came at Bournemouth, where he was sacked just four games into the 2022-23 campaign after leading them to promotion. Parker also won the Championship play-off final as Fulham manager in 2020.

But his Newcastle allegiances may prove an obstacle for Sunderland supporters. The 43-year-old spent two years on Tyneside during the mid-00s, taking over the armband in 2006 following Alan Shearer’s retirement.

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Managers who have crossed the divide in recent times include Sam Allardyce and Steve Bruce. Parker is priced at just 7/4 by some bookmakers - ahead of Frank Lampard (2/1), Will Still (3/1) and Paul Heckingbottam (7/2).

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