The Guardian has claimed that sources in Italy are reporting that Roberto Di Matteo, the early favourite to replace Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland, is unsure if he wants to take over at the Black Cats, while another contender, former Brighton and Hove Albion manager Gus Poyet, is reluctant to work under director of football Roberto De Fanti.
De Fanti is said by the newspaper to hold total authority over transfers at the Stadium of Light and made 14 signings during pre-season, 13 of which were imports from around Europe and other parts of the world. Poyet is also engaged in legal action with Brighton, which could potentially complicate an approach from Sunderland.
Di Matteo, who left Chelsea in November 2012, is still receiving a salary from the Blues following his sacking, six months after delivering the Champions League to Stamford Bridge. The former midfielder, who also managed MK Dons and West Bromwich Albion, is understood to be hesitant over accepting a new position unless it represents a great opportunity to return to management.
The reticence of Poyet and Di Matteo could pave the way for Steve McClaren, the
Development coach Kevin Ball has been appointed as caretaker manager and will oversee Tuesday’s Capital One Cup match at home to Peterborough, and also potentially Sunday’s home fixture with Liverpool.
Di Canio was sacked after a delegation of senior players complained of the former striker’s methods to two senior board members, including De Fanti. The newspaper notes that while Di Canio was acknowledged as a good coach, his management of the players as people was lacking and that is what led to his downfall.
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