Report: Sunderland Target Hamburg Director For De Fanti Replacement

Who is reportedly a top candidate to replace De Fanti at Sunderland?

According to a report in The Journal, Hamburg technical director Lee Congerton is one of the names being targeted by Sunderland to replace Roberto De Fanti.

Congerton would not be an especially high profile name, but it is certainly an intriguing one. The 38-year-old has a strong background at Chelsea, where he was a coach at both youth and reserve team level before moving into scouting for the club. Current on-loan Sunderland striker Fabio Borini was one of his pet-projects.

He may take a little persuasion, but he has previously spoken of his desire to move to England, as well as clarifying what the role actually entails.

I would love to see this role grow in England because I think it can offer so much to clubs.

Here in Germany every club has it and it's very much about the medium- to long-term development. And that's maybe a problem with the English game – the coach goes, big pay out and off we go again.

I think it is frowned upon a lot in England because the managers don't really understand what the role is. In England it's perceived that the sporting or technical director is signing players that he wants to play in the team.

But we don't bring a player here that the coach doesn't want – ultimately he has to play them in the team. What we do is try to minimise the risk, so that we know the player and gather detailed information on them because the coach also has to understand that the sporting director has a responsibility to the organisation.

I'm very much established here with the family but the dream in years to come would be to help a manager be successful at a big Premier League club and put some footprints in the sand for the role to grow for others.

He certainly appears to tick a lot of boxes considering he has experience of both English football and a continental model.

There doesn't appear to be anything imminent, but Congerton is certainly a name to keep an eye on.

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