By Dylan Childs

2nd Dec, 2020 | 10:42am

Exclusive: Johnson is leading contender for Sunderland job

Former Bristol City boss Lee Johnson is in the frame to become the new Sunderland manager, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The 39-year-old is among the leading contenders for the vacant post at the Stadium of Light following the sacking of Phil Parkinson on Sunday.

The Black Cats decided to part ways with Parkinson, 53, following a run of five games without a win, after just over a year in charge of the League One club.

He left the North-East giants eighth in the table after 13 games, a position that his since been bettered with a 1-1 draw with Burton Albion.

A source at the Wearside club has told Football Insider that Lee Johnson is firmly in the running to replace Parkinson and lead the club’s push for promotion.

Johnson has been out of work since he was sacked by Bristol City at the end of beginning of July, prior to his dismissal he was the longest serving manager in the Championship.

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During a four-year spell at Ashton Gate, he won 84 of 217 games and boasted a points-per-game average of 1.41.

The Englishman has also managed Barnsley and Oldham Athletic since his retirement from playing in 2013.

Sky Sports‘ Keith Downie revealed yesterday that Sunderland have been “inundated” with applications for the vacant managerial post but ruled out the return of former Black Cats boss Gus Poyet.

Danny Cowley is the bookmakers’ current favourite, the former Huddersfield and Lincoln City boss publicly revealed his interest in the job when he spoke to the Southend Echo.

The club are also in the midst of a takeover with Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and current director Juan Sartori having entered a period of exclusivity with current owner Steward Donald.

In other Sunderland news, Kevin Phillips drops ‘massive’ O’Brien claim after ‘Crushing’ update.