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Ball out OLeary in at Sunderland

last updated Thursday 04th May 2006, 9:49 AM
David O'Leary
David O'Leary

DAVID O'Leary today emerged as a shock managerial front-runner for Sunderland.

O'Leary's long-time pal, former Arsenal and Ireland room-mate Niall Quinn, is understood to be within days of completing a £16million takeover of the Black Cats.

And Quinn, 39, who is backed by wealthy horse-racing magnate JP McManus, wants O'Leary to head up his new managerial team at the Stadium of Light.

O'Leary will not walk away from his £1.7million Villa Park job but a compromise would appear to suit both parties. O'Leary is frustrated by a lack of investment in the team and, with financial cuts sweeping Villa Park, he has already been told he has to sell before he can buy.

O'Leary, who still lives near Harrogate, could walk away with his head held high and into a sleeping giant in the Championship.

An insider close to Quinn told the Birmingham Mail today: "Quinn wants O'Leary as his manager as he has a lot of respect for him over a good many years.

"O'Leary would get cash to spend on new players and we hope it can happen."

Villa chairman Doug Ellis, away this week on business, is reluctant to hand the manager a lofty compensation figure for sacking him and would favour the type of brokering that allowed him to snap up O'Leary in the first place in May 2003.

Then, Ellis and Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale struck a deal months before Graham Taylor resigned whereby Leeds wouldn't get compensation for allowing their mananger to join Villa.

Source Bill Howell at Birmingham Mail
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