Former Juventus defender Paolo Montero - loosely linked to the vacant manager’s job at Sunderland - has resigned his current position as boss of Argentine side Rosario Central.
The suggestion that the 46-year-old had been approached by Black Cats representatives originated in South America last week, seemingly from a radio station in Argentina before being picked up by various outlets.
The reports claimed that Montero had initially dismissed the link to Sunderland saying he was fully focused on the semi-final of the Copa Argentina which took place last night.
Central were beaten by Atletico Tucaman on penalties after playing out a goalless draw inside the Antonio Romero Stadium in the Argentine city of Formosa.
Montero’s now former side have endured a poor start to the season and are second from bottom of the Primera Division with just 4 points from their opening eight games.
The former Atalanta and Juventus defender was appointed in January but resigned from his position in the wake of the cup elimination last night.
In a brief resignation speech to awaiting journalists, Montero refused to be drawn on whether he had another position lined up:
With all due respect I have come to tell you that it is not enough to analyse the game or answer questions, but out of respect I came to say goodbye to all of you. We already informed the players and the leaders that we stepped aside.
The former Uruguayan international earned over 60 caps for his country and spent nearly a decade at Juventus. Montero is considered one of the Turin club’s greats. Holding the record for most red cards in Serie A, he maintained a reputation as a hard, formidable defender.
Appointing a little proven coach with experience limited to Argentinian football would be a hugely surprising move for Sunderland, a club who have maintained a focus on managers with experience of British football.
That said, the last few - with the exception of Sam Allardyce - have all failed to work out, so perhaps a revolutionary approach could be exactly what’s needed.
It’s now twelve days since Simon Grayson was dismissed and less than a week until domestic football recommences on Wearside with the visit of Millwall on Saturday. Sunderland are supposedly commencing a “formal interview” in the coming days with a view to appointing their seventh manager in four years.