SUNDERLAND’S recruitment team are already working behind the scenes on potential targets to recommend to the club’s next manager.

The Black Cats are in a state of limbo at the moment while Stewart Donald, who has sold Eastleigh this week, is waiting for the go-ahead to complete his takeover at the Stadium of Light.

It will only be then when Donald can appoint the first manager of the post-Ellis Short era, with Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder still the firm favourite.

Wilder is still waiting for word about what direction the Blades are heading in following apparent disagreements between the co-owners at Bramall Lane, Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad Abdulaziz Al Saud.

There is believed to a be a further scheduled meeting between the pair this week and that could have a major bearing on Wilder’s future, with the Sheffield United boss looking for the backing to take the club to the next level.

Donald, believed to be also considering Michael Appleton and Anthony Hudson among others, knows Sunderland can’t afford to sit around and wait for too long as they prepare for a first season in League One.

There have been names linked with Sunderland this week; the latest of those is Dunfermline goalkeeper Lee Robinson, with his form since January catching the eye.

The 31-year-old, who ended the season with 12 clean sheets in 20 appearances, had a stint with Sunderland’s academy before he moved to Rangers and then on to Queen of the South and Raith Rovers.

Former Sunderland defender Nedum Onuoha is believed to be angling for move north to be closer to his Manchester roots when he leaves Queens Park Rangers.

Onuoha, 31, will leave QPR at the end of his contract and as a free agent is on Sunderland’s radar, although persuading him to drop to the third tier will be a challenge.

He enjoyed an impressive loan spell at Sunderland in 2010-11 when he was with Manchester City before then heading Loftus Road in 2012 where he has spent the last six years.

Sunderland are looking to trim costs down, which will see players on decent pay packets made available under the new regime, and the recruitment team will be looking at players who can come in and not prove costly additions.