David Sharpe believes it would “make sense” if Sunderland made a move for Paul Cook.
The Latics manager is the favourites with bookmakers to succeed Jack Ross at the League One outfit.
And Sharpe – the man who brought him to the DW Stadium when he was chairman – says if he was in charge of the Black Cats, he would target Cook.
“Whether they do make an approach I don’t know,” Sharpe told Chronicle Live. “But if it was me, and I was running a League One club like I ran Wigan, I’d be looking for the best possible man for the job.
“Paul Cook was at the top of my list, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s at the top of Sunderland’s. It would make sense.
“I’m a Wigan fan, and putting my Wigan hat on, I would hate to see him leave Wigan. I appointed him, I’m a fan of the club, and so I want us to have Paul in charge.
“But if I was in Stewart Donald’s seat right now at Sunderland, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was top of the list.”
Cook earned promotion with Wigan Athletic – and retained their Championship status last term – having previously had success at Chesterfield and Portsmouth.
Sharpe is now a football agent and believes Cook could get the best out of one of his clients – striker Will Grigg.
“He also got the best out of Will Grigg, and if the new manager can come in and get Will firing, that could be the difference between promotion. It was for us,” added Sharpe, grandson of former club owner Dave Whelan. “If I was Wigan I’d be fearful that Sunderland would pick up the phone.”