Sunderland will look to the Championship for a replacement for Paolo Di Canio, the
Zola is joined by the likes of Gus Poyet and Roberto Di Matteo on the shortlist as director of football Roberto De Fanti seeks a young manager willing to spend a lot of time on the training ground. De Fanti is also said to be close to his Watford counterpart Gianluca Nani, which could make a move smooth the way for an approach for Zola.
Di Matteo is said to prefer to wait for an opening at a bigger club while Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay is described as a surprise contender, but included on the short list as doubts persist over his long-term future in Wales under owner Vincent Tan.
Youth coach Kevin Ball is in caretaker charge for the next two games – both at home, first to Peterborough in the Capital One Cup and then Liverpool in the Premier League – as the Black Cats seek their third manager of the calendar year.
Martin O’Neill was dismissed to make way for Di Canio in March after a little more than a year in charge, while Di Canio was given 13 games – of which he won three and lost seven. The new man will be Sunderland’s sixth permanent boss in just over seven years.
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