Chris Coleman leaves Wales role for Sunderland job

US Navy crew members stand by an EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft on the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during a South Korea-US joint military exercise in seas east of the Korean Peninsula on 14 March 2017

Chris Coleman has left his job with Wales to take over at Championship club Sunderland.

Coleman will succeed Simon Grayson, who was sacked after 18 games in charge.

Former defender Coleman succeeded the late Gary Speed as Wales boss and guided them to an historic appearance at Euro 2016, where they reached the semi-finals.

Disappointment followed as Wales failed to reach the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

After Wales’ qualifying campaign for that tournament ended in defeat to the Republic of Ireland, Coleman’s last two games in charge were a loss to France and home draw against Panama.

Negotiations between Coleman and the Football Association of Wales continued after the game against the Central Americans.

Those talks ended with Coleman opting to leave, having often spoken about hoping to return to the day-to-day demands of club management.

Ex-Wales defender Danny Gabbidon told BBC Sport Wales: “I’m gutted, really disappointed. I know all the fans will be, the players will be as well.

“I know how much they thought of the manager – he was more than just a manager.

“There was a kind of player relationship between the squad and the manager so they’ll be gutted hearing that news as well.”

Coleman’s reign began with Wales 48th in Fifa’s world rankings and it ends with them in 14 place.

He will take over at Sunderland, who are bottom of the Championship with one win, seven draws and eight defeats so far this season.

Sunderland are aiming to confirm a deal with Coleman by Sunday.

There is an expectation at the Stadium of Light he will be in charge for their away game against Aston Villa on Tuesday night.

Despite speculation over Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill, Coleman was the club’s number one target and no offers were made to other candidates.

More to follow.

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