PHIL PARKINSON has confirmed things are “progressing” with regard to a planned takeover at Sunderland, but continues to insist he is not concerned about the impact a change of ownership could have on his own position as manager.

Stewart Donald is on the verge of selling his majority share in the Black Cats to a new partnership comprising current minority shareholder, Juan Sartori, and Swiss trust-fund manager Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.

Sartori, a Uruguayan multi-millionaire, and Louis-Dreyfus, whose family wealth runs into the billions, are set to take over 80 per cent of Sunderland, with Donald retaining a 15 per cent stake and former board member Charlie Methven holding on to his current five per cent shareholding.

It has been suggested the takeover process could be complete before the end of the month, but while Parkinson is aware of the ongoing developments, he continues to counsel caution about assuming a deal is inevitable before all elements of it have been agreed.

“I obviously speak to Jim Rodwell, who’s at the training ground on a daily basis, and I think things are progressing,” said the Sunderland boss. “But nothing’s ever done until it’s signed along the dotted line.

“That’s more or less it really. I don’t want the players and myself getting caught up in any of that because I’ve been there before where everyone’s attention starts getting distracted, and it may or may not happen. I’m sure we’ll be the first people to know.”

Sartori and Louis-Dreyfus are understood to have begun the process of sounding out potential candidates for a new director of football role, and appear keen to overhaul Sunderland’s executive-management structure.

They are expected to consider the future of the club’s category one academy, and might well ask questions of Parkinson’s position as manager given Sunderland’s current position outside the play-off places in the wake of last weekend’s bitterly disappointing home defeat to MK Dons.

Parkinson has dealt with off-field uncertainty before during his time at Charlton Athletic and Bolton Wanderers, and says he has learned the hard way that devoting time and energy to things that may or may not happen is counter-productive.

“We’ve just got to ignore anything that might be flying around,” he said. “From my point of view, I certainly won’t be going into the detail of anything.

“I remember many years ago, when I was at Charlton, the chairman told me, ‘Look, there’s a potential new owner wanting to meet you in London with a new chief executive and new director of football’. I had a big meeting over a meal, and went through everything.

“They were ringing me up about players, and about potential signings, and it was going on for weeks and weeks. Then, all of sudden, the takeover just didn’t happen. It fell by the wayside, and I’d put all that energy into looking at players and dealing with the situation of the new people might want to do. I felt I’d maybe taken me eye away from what was really important. I learned that lesson many years ago.”

While Sartori and Louis-Dreyfus have the funds needed to transform Sunderland’s fortunes in the long term, their ability to enact immediate change will be severely limited by the salary cap that was agreed by League One clubs earlier this summer.

The Black Cats are operating at their salary-cap limit, so there will be very little scope to add new signings in January unless current squad members leave.

“It’s complicated, I have to say that,” said Parkinson. “With regard to the rules and regulations around this salary cap, I seem to be finding new things out all the time.

“But as it stands, there’s a certain level of wages you can spend and certain amount of players you can have in your squad that are over 21. Unless we can change things around in terms of players out, it will be difficult to improve it too much. However, I’d say that we’ve still got players who are ready to play more of a part, and who haven’t really got going yet this season.”