Sunderland have yet to contact Duncan Ferguson in the search for a head coach amid interest from Mick McCarthy

Duncan Ferguson has been installed as the early bookmakers’ favorite to succeed Lee Johnson at Sunderland – but ChronicleLive understands there has been no contact between the club and its representatives.

Everton hero Ferguson was appointed interim manager of Goodison Park following the sacking of Rafa Benitez earlier this month, but the Toffees are set to bring in Frank Lampard as their new permanent boss.

Lampard is expected to bring his own team behind the scenes at Merseyside, which has led to reports that Ferguson will leave the club where he has been part of the first-team coaching setup since 2014.

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Johnson’s sacking last night led to an immediate flurry of speculation that former Scotland international and Newcastle United striker Ferguson might be in line to take over at the Stadium of Light, but this morning there is no had had no contact with Ferguson’s camp.

Another candidate for the Sunderland vacancy is Mick McCarthy, who ChronicleLive says is interested in returning to the club where he spent three years in charge of the club in the early 2000s.

It is believed there has been initial contact between McCarthy and Sunderland, and one possibility is that the 62-year-old could take on the job for the remainder of the season.

McCarthy was initially appointed Sunderland manager in 2003 when the club was already on course for relegation from the Premier League.

The following season he led the club to the play-off semi-finals as they failed to make an immediate return to the top flight, but in his second full season in charge the Black Cats were promoted to champions .

Former Republic of Ireland boss McCarthy is currently unemployed after being sacked by Cardiff City in October.

Other names linked to the job include Grant McCann, who was sacked by Championship club Hull City last week, and former Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

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