Sunderland say they are in talks with potential new owners, and that the search for a new manager will be put on hold while negotiations are ongoing.
Owner Ellis Short is currently in talks with “interested parties”.
The Black Cats are seeking a replacement for David Moyes, who left his post in May after relegation from the Premier League.
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes was offered the role but rejected the opportunity in favour of staying at Pittodrie.
An update on the club website read: “With this backdrop, we have been unable to give the assurances any potential candidate would need regarding the plans a new owner could have for the manager’s position.
“The recruitment process, whilst still very much active, cannot therefore be concluded imminently.”
Sunderland confirmed they have placed an unspecified timescale on the discussions, to allow the manager search to continue.
McInnes, 45, led Aberdeen to two cup finals last season, losing to Celtic on both occasions, and delivered European football with a second-place finish in the Scottish Premiership.
In revealing his decision to turn down Sunderland, former Rangers midfielder McInnes said felt there was “so much still to be done” at Aberdeen.
Short took full control of Sunderland in May 2009 and has been chairman since October 2011.