MIDDLESBROUGH and Sunderland could be set for a North-East managerial tug-of-war, with Garry Monk having surprisingly resigned as Leeds United manager.

Both Boro and Sunderland are known to be strong admirers of Monk, and the former Swansea boss is likely to figure highly on the wanted list of both North-East clubs as they look for a new boss.

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Boro are the furthest advanced in their search for a new head coach, and had been due to formally interview ex-Leicester boss Nigel Pearson at the start of next week.

That could still happen, but Steve Gibson is likely to make a rapid approach to Monk and his representatives now that the 38-year-old is on the market.

Sunderland will also be keen to speak to Monk as they look to appoint David Moyes' successor, although their lack of available finance could count against them if they find themselves in a head-to-head battle with Boro.

Monk's decision to leave Elland Road is a major surprise as he had been expected to sign a new deal following Andrea Radrizzani's succesful takeover of Leeds earlier this week.

Leeds will now begin their search for his successor, with former Boro head coach Aitor Karanka a strong favourite. Leeds are set to appoint one of Karanka's closest associates - former Boro technical director Victor Orta - as their new head of recruitment.