Sunderland sacked Lee Johnson earlier this month after a drubbing at the hands of Bolton Wanderers and have been working to bring in a new manager.


Keane emerged as the early contender to fill the role at the Stadium of Light and Sunderland were also expected to hold talks with other candidates.



But it became clear that the Sunderland board were pushing for the former Manchester United midfielder who had a previous stint as manager with the north east giants.


Sunderland have been in talks with Keane over the last few days with a view to reaching an agreement and it has been claimed that a deal is close to being agreed upon.



However, nothing has been finalised yet and the two sides are still continuing their conversations.


Keane left Sunderland 13 years back and has not been a manager since leaving Ipswich Town in 2011.



The 51-year-old has been keen to return to management but wants to be sure about the project he will be getting into.


Sunderland are fourth in the league table and are pushing to be promoted to the Championship.