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Sunderland could wait until next week to name new boss
GUSTAVO POYET has been told Sunderland do not want to make a final decision on Paolo Di Canio’s successor until the back end of next week.
Poyet has the backing of the club’s director of football Roberto De Fanti for the position but the former Brighton boss will have to be patient while Short does his homework on all of the candidates.
Sunderland’s American owner accepts that mistakes were made when he decided to give the volatile Di Canio his first opportunity to shine in the Premier League and is keen to avoid a repeat.
That has left Poyet frustrated. The Uruguayan would prefer to have taken control for the Liverpool visit to the Stadium of Light on Sunday, even though the difficult fixture will be followed by another home date with Manchester United the following week.
But his wishes are not going to be granted and it is also highly unlikely he will be in the stands for the Liverpool game when Kevin Ball takes caretaker charge again.
Ball has been told to work on the basis he will be holding the first team reins until Sunday, although sources close to the club are not ruling him still being in charge for Manchester United's visit as well.
Short is keen to avoid an expensive mistake having seen Di Canio's sudden exit come largely out of the blue on Sunday when a delegation from the dressing room demanded his removal.
Poyet has already chatted with Sunderland and is understood to be scheduled to speak with Short again in the coming days in what will be a second interview.
De Fanti is strongly in favour of giving him the job, which is why sources in Italy and Spain – where Poyet has carried out a short radio interview – are claiming it is pretty much a done deal.
Poyet told Spanish radio: “My opportunity to manage Sunderland is there. I'm waiting. Nervously. Since the start of the season I've dedicated myself to watching the games of teams that might call me if things weren't going too well.”
Short and De Fanti had put Poyet and Di Canio at the top of the list to replace Martin O'Neill back in April, when the latter got the job because Brighton would have demanded compensation for the former.
Poyet's camp seem happy enough to talk about his prospects for the job, which is unlikely to have impressed certain members of the Sunderland boardroom putting out the message that there is still a short-list under consideration.
What remains certain is that the director of football structure is going to remain in place, after Short give De Fanti the go-ahead to change the club's recruitment policy over the summer.
That means Sunderland's search for a new manager will be somebody willing to work as a tracksuit manager, allowing De Fanti to carry on conducting transfer business.
Poyet is happy to slot in to such a role, while it is understood another front-runner is former Manchester United first team coach Rene Meulensteen. Ex-Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren is not thought to be a contender.
Short is desperate to bring in a coach capable of delivering instant results from a squad he still believes possesses the quality to climb up the Premier League table.
Despite watching Sunderland claim just a single point from the opening five games ahead of the visits of Liverpool and United, he still believes in what De Fanti has done.
De Fanti, whose best links are with Italy where he worked closely with Udinese among others, has brought in 14 new players over the course of the summer.
While Di Canio was unable to deliver results with those players, there is a feeling within the club that his methods were largely to blame for lacklustre displays from the team.
The earlier favourite for the job, Roberto Di Matteo, is understood to be interesting Turkish club Galatasaray after admitting he was reluctant to join a club sitting bottom of the Premier League.
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