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Reports: Sunderland Appoint Ambitious Director Of Football

Press reports suggest Sunderland's summer plans are well and truly underway with the appointment of a new Director Of Football with some heady ambitions.

Never going to happen, but how often do we get to put a picture of this calibre of player on a Sunderland story?! Indulge us.
Never going to happen, but how often do we get to put a picture of this calibre of player on a Sunderland story?! Indulge us.
Valerio Pennicino

Although there has been no official announcement on the matter, it appears that Ellis Short has moved to appoint Roberto De Fanti to a Director of Football roll at the club.

The Italian is a registered agent, boasting the likes Manchester City striker John Guidetti amongst his clients, and is said to be a strong confidant of the Sunderland chairman.

The appointment of such a figure at the club has long been speculated, with Di Canio carrying the title of 'head coach' rather than manager and the sacking of the entire scouting staff adding plenty of fuel to the fire.

The big question has been who that man would be. Paolo Negro was an early contender, but it is De Fanti who has emerged as an increasing influence behind the scenes at The Stadium of Light and surely some kind of formal confirmation can be expected sooner rather than later.

Whilst little is really known about De Fanti at this point, one thing that he seems intent on bringing to the club is ambition. The Evening Chronicle and The Express both ran stories claiming an outrageous inquiry from Sunderland for Napoli's £50m-rated striker Edinson Cavani.

Obviously, the prospect of such a move actually happening is far too ludicrous to even envisage, however it does send out hugely positive signals about the scale and levels of Sunderland's summer overhaul - presuming Premier League survival is secured, of course.

If De Fanti's name amongst other agents is strong and reputable enough, then it could well open up a whole new talent pool to the club moving forward.

Meanwhile, the club have confirmed Di Canio's own agent, Phil Spencer - who was said to be a pivotal figure behind the Italian's transfer dealings at Swindon - will not have any kind of a roll at the club. Quoted in The Mirror, a club spokesman said:

Mr ­Spencer is Paolo Di Canio’s agent. He does not work for the club.

As ever, we will follow the story with interest as it develops.

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