Sunderland have begun to make contingency plans to replace manager Sam Allardyce as fears rise he is on the verge of being offered the England job.

Allardyce met with Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain on Wednesday afternoon and has assured his current employer that has not been given any guarantees from the FA at this stage.

However, sources close to the negotiations have told Telegraph Sport that it is starting to look like Allardyce’s appointment is a “done deal.”

The Sunderland hierarchy were told by the FA when they formally asked to speak to Allardyce that they wanted to interview other candidates, but owner Ellis Short does not want the search for a new manager to begin from scratch if Allardyce does – as is now widely expected - take charge of the national team.

As a result, Telegraph Sport understands the club will make tentative enquiries, through intermediaries, to discover whether former Everton and Manchester United manager David Moyes would be interested in replacing Allardyce, who is likely to recommend the Scot if he does leave.