Bookmakers believe Paolo Di Canio is the overwhelming favourite to take over as Sunderland manager. Rumours have been circulating all morning that the former Swindon boss would be the man Ellis Short entrusts with the club's future, and bookies have responded by slashing the odds on the Italian replacing Martin O'Neill. One booking site, Ladbrokes currently have Di Canio at 1/10, and all other bookmakers taking bets have him as the odds on favourite.
Whether or not there's any truth in the rumours remains to be seen. It certainly would seem like an risky choice, considering Di Canio has never managed about League 1 before now, and his time at Swindon ended in acrimonious circumstances. The fomer West Ham striker has a reputation for being hot-headed and we can't imagine Short would take the decision to appoint him lightly.
Still, if it turns out Di Canio is the man who's going to take over, he would probably be a lot easier for fans to get behind than the early favourite Steve McClaren. With his passionate style of management, the Italian could insert the kind of fight and hunger among the squad that is desperately needed in the run-in. As we've said, it seems a strange one, and it remains to be seen if there's any truth in it, but if the bookmakers are to be believed, it is likely that Di Canio will be the next manager of Sunderland.