Paul Heckingbottom: Barnsley boss plays down Sunderland link

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom guided Barnsley to promotion to the Championship in 2015-16

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom has said he has had no contact with Sunderland over their managerial vacancy.

Newspaper reports have suggested the 40-year-old is the favourite to replace Simon Grayson at the Stadium of Light.

"As it stands there is nothing in it," Heckingbottom told BBC Radio Sheffield.

"In the time I've been here there have been opportunities to go and if I didn't want to be here then I wouldn't be here."

He added: "Everyone knows how much I love it here."

The former Barnsley full-back guided the Tykes to promotion to the Championship as well as victory in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final in 2016.

Sunderland have endured a dreadful start to the season and are bottom of the Championship, having been relegated from the Premier League in 2016-17.

Grayson was sacked on 31 October after winning just one of his 15 games in charge and Robbie Stockdale is in sole caretaker charge of the team after Billy McKinlay left to take a coaching role at West Ham.

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