Following a morning of speculation, Sky Sports News are reporting than Paolo Di Canio is en route to Sunderland for talks with Ellis Short over replacing Martin O'Neill. The rumours have been circulating all day, with bookmakers slashing the odds of the Italian becoming the new manager, and it now looks a certainty that Di Canio will take charge ahead of next Sunday's game at Chelsea.
It's certainly a huge gamble by Ellis Short to appoint the former West Ham striker. Di Canio is inexperienced, and has never managed above League 1. He also has a reputation for being hot-headed, and his tenure at Swindon was full of boardroom scuffles and in-fighting between board and manager. Presumably Short is relying on the Italian to bring some of his renowned passion to the team, and give a squad that's looked desperately lacking in spirit the fight it needs to maintain its Premier League status. You'd certainly imagine Di Canio will give the team a short-term lift, but whether he's the right man long-term remains to be seen. Regardless, it's a brave decision by the Sunderland chairman, and it's anybody guess at this stage as to whether it comes off.
It's unknown at this stage the length of the contract Di Canio will get, but what looks certain at this point is that he will be the next manager of Sunderland football club.