Advocaat to stay if Sunderland avoid drop
Dick Advocaat will announce whether he intends to become Sunderland's permanent head coach early next week, although he has denied claims he has already decided to reject an offer to stay.
Advocaat is expected to say he is willing to remain at the club, after talks with owner Ellis Short, as long as he first keeps them in the Premier League and has a big say in player recruitment, alongside director of football Lee Congerton.
The 67-year-old revealed he had enjoyed his three-month stint in the Premier League, after he was persuaded to take a contract until the end of the season following the sacking of Gus Poyet in March.
Club insiders are increasingly confident that the former Rangers manager will agree to remain in charge, although they admit nothing is certain.
Sunderland need a point from their remaining two games, against Arsenal tonight and Chelsea on Sunday, to be certain of avoiding the drop - Advocaat is unlikely to stay if they are relegated.
"I repeat, I have not made a decision yet on my future," said Advocaat, when asked about reports claiming he did not want the job. "I have not given Sunderland an answer, either one way or another.
"I will not do that until next week, when I will let them know. There has to be a quick decision, though, and the meeting will take place at the start of next week."
This is the first time since he was a young manager in Holland that Advocaat has been in charge of a team battling for survival and while he admitted he does not enjoy it, he has told Short that he can avoid a repeat if he stays.
"There is potential at this club," Advocaat added. "I know the owner and, like me, he wants this club to be at the other end of the table.
"Relegation is something new for me and I don't like it. I don't like relegation battles because I am used to working at a higher level, challenging for championships and cups. But I have really enjoyed working here."
Arsenal can wrap up third place with victory tonight, although they have only managed one point from their last two games after a defeat to Swansea and a draw at Manchester United.
Arsenal v Sunderland, live, Sky Sports 1, 7.45