Sunderland appoint Le Bris as head coach

Incoming Sunderland boss Regis Le Bris
Regis Le Bris had two seasons in charge of Lorient [Getty Images]

Sunderland have appointed Lorient boss Regis Le Bris as their new head coach on a three-year contract.

The 48-year-old Frenchman, who will officially take over on 1 July, replaces Michael Beale, who was sacked in February after less than three months in charge.

Le Bris spent two seasons in charge of Lorient, guiding them to 10th in Ligue 1 in his first campaign before they finished 17th and were relegated last season.

The Black Cats finished 16th in the Championship in 2023-24.

"I'm certainly here to pass on my energy and my convictions, but also to listen and learn," Le Bris told the club website following his appointment.

"I want us to bring joy to our fans, not only through results, but also through our style of play, and I'm convinced that with commitment and hard work, we can write an exciting new chapter."

Sporting director Kristjaan Speakman said Le Bris was a "talented coach, who is thoughtful and detailed in his approach and values strong relationships with players and staff".

"He is aligned with delivering our playing identity and he shares our ambition to win, as well as our passion for talent development," Speakman added.

Sunderland had been linked with a move for 31-year-old Englishman Will Still but he took over at Lens earlier this month after leaving fellow Ligue 1 side Reims.

The Wearsiders finished sixth in their first season back in the second tier in 2022-23 under Tony Mowbray but were beaten by Luton in the play-off semi-final.

Mowbray was sacked last December with Sunderland ninth in the table and successor Beale was gone after just 12 matches as they fell away from top-six contention.

They ended the campaign a distant 17 points adrift of the play-off places under the caretaker charge of coach Mike Dodds.