Former Aston Villa boss David O'Leary will not be a target for Sunderland.

The Black Cats have privately dismissed speculation that the former Republic of Ireland international could be on former team-mate Niall Quinn's list of candidates for the Sunderland vacancy.

Quinn is working towards appointing Mick McCarthy's successor with barely two weeks remaining before the start of the new Coca-Cola Championship season.

Having given up hope of attracting Martin O'Neill, Bolton's Sam Allardyce remains Quinn's top target despite Wanderers insisting Sunderland have little chance of landing him.

O'Leary, 48, was linked with the vacant post at the Stadium of Light after parting company with Villa last night.

But the idea was quickly ruled out on Wearside despite the fact Sunderland would not have to fork out for a compensation package.

Quinn tabled his consortium's £10million takeover bid earlier this month and was given permission by then chairman Bob Murray to start the search for a new manager.

But the process has proved frustrating, and while he is desperately trying to find a big name, time is moving on.

Quinn's intention had been to leave the re-shaping of the squad to the new manager, but he has now had to start the ball rolling.

Full-back Julio Arca is understood to be in talks with neighbours Middlesbrough, while goalkeeper Kelvin Davis could still move to Southampton.