Sunderland have been tipped to reignite their interest in a previous managerial target in the summer.
Sunderland spent over two weeks searching for the perfect replacement for Tony Mowbray last month and were heavily linked with a number of exciting, young managers from abroad.
The announcement that the Black Cats were expected to sign former QPR and Rangers coach Michael Beale angered supporters and drew harsh criticism for the board.
Having lost four of his first seven games in charge, Michael Beale has also failed to dispel the naysayers, and Sunderland is currently ranked tenth in the Championship.
Many people have urged Kyril Louis-Dreyfus to fire Beale right now and reinstate Mike Dodds through the conclusion of the season, although it’s not apparent who they could name as a long-term replacement.
One name who appeared to be Sunderland’s main target in December was Will Still, who currently manages sixth-place Reims in Ligue 1 and has a 46% win rate with the French outfit.
The ‘incredible’ 31-year-old blew up across Europe when he joined Reims and went on a 14-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, despite not even holding a UEFA Pro Licence at the time.
It was reported last week that Sunderland really wanted Will Still, but couldn’t afford his compensation.
However, journalist Michael Graham has now tipped the Black Cats to go back in for the Belgian in the summer.
On X, he wrote: “Said it before, but if Beale goes I think it’ll be Dodds until the end of the season. Then suspect back in for Will Still in the summer.”
He then followed it up with: “The clause that sets the high compensation fee for Will Still expires at the end of this season. Will be significantly cheaper to appoint in the summer.”
Can Sunderland still land Will Still?
When the links initially started, Will Still was unquestionably the manager that everyone wanted to see at the Stadium of Light; in contrast, Michael Beale was terribly disappointing.
It would be insane not to go back in for him if his summertime cost is going to be much lower.
The main problem is that we already seem like a less appealing club than we were before Beale joined.
We might wind up in the middle of the table or perhaps the bottom half of the standings, and at the conclusion of the season, we’ll probably part ways with a lot of important players.
It also wouldn’t be surprising if Still had plenty more options to consider by then too – especially given that he could potentially guide Reims to Champions League football.
We made a huge mistake in not coughing up the cash to bring him in last month and could now pay the price by seeing someone else snap him up in six months time, while we search for a second choice.