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Poyet 'Surprised' By De Fanti Departure

Did Gus see it coming?

Michael Steele

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet claims he is as surprised as any of us by the apparent sudden departure of Director of Football Roberto De Fanti.

The much-maligned Italian left his position on Friday night whilst the rumour mill went into overdrive - a product of which was a suggestion that a rift with the manager was behind the decision.

If that is true then Poyet certainly isn't letting on. When asked how he felt upon hearing the news, he responded:

I was surprised. It was a club decision and I was working with him. I was working with him until the afternoon and then it happened.

He could be fibbing, of course, but I'm not sure what he'd rally have to gain from it. The transfer targets this month were very much Poyet-driven and it seems much more likely that De Fanti paid the price for the events which necessitated Poyet's appointment than any which have succeeded it.

Mind you, being surprised doesn't have to mean he isn't happy about it.