Soccer

Thursday 21 August 2014

Di Canio set for Sunderland talks

Published 31/03/2013 | 16:51

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Paolo Di Canio is set for talks with Sunderland

Paolo Di Canio is travelling to the north east for talks over the managerial vacancy at Sunderland, Press Association Sport understands.

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The Italian has emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Martin O'Neill, who was sacked in the wake of the Wearsiders' 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.

It is believed Di Canio will hold talks with Sunderland officials with a view to being formally appointed on Monday.

Di Canio's immediate objective will be to revitalise a squad for a seven-game run-in which will determine where the Black Cats will play their football next season.

They are currently just a point above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone after a run of eight games without a win.

It appears club owner Ellis Short is determined to make an appointment sooner rather than later ahead of a difficult run of games which takes the Black Cats to Chelsea next weekend ahead of a derby trip to Newcastle and the visit of Everton, whose 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final replay victory on Wearside last season had such devastating consequences for O'Neill's reign.

The new man will be Sunderland's fifth manager in a little more than four years, and the first the American will have chosen since Niall Quinn's departure as chairman.

Di Canio's appointment would undoubtedly represent a gamble for Sunderland given his volatile nature.

The 44-year-old resigned from his post at Swindon in February, citing a number of off-field events including the sale of star man Matt Ritchie.

After leaving Swindon he outlined his belief that he was now ready to manage at a higher level, telling BBC Sport: "I believe I am at a stage now where I am a Premier League or Championship manager."

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