The 40-year-old remains the favourite to take over at the Stadium of Light and has been heavily linked with a move to Wearside this week.
But as it stands Heckingbottom, on the books of Sunderland for four years as a youngster, says that the situation is ‘hypothetical’ and has side-stepped talk of a possible move.
On whether there has been contact from Sunderland, Heckingbottom said: “No, there hasn’t.
“We have been sat here before, so the situation is no different.
“I have been asked these sorts of questions before about different clubs at different times. It is just what happens in football, it is all hypothetical.
“Until anything happens, I can’t tell you because I don’t know the club’s thoughts on it or my thoughts on it.
“We’ve obviously spoken and had these conversations (him and Barnsley) but they will remain private.
“As it stands there is nothing in it.
“It is not being big-headed in any way, but you would like to think you are on people’s lists. Whether they will take it any further is down to them, but it is no different to me sitting here before when I have been asked similar questions about other situations.”