Sunderland have “all-but” decided that Gustavo Poyet will fill the managerial vacancy left by Paolo Di Canio’s dismissal on Sunday, a source close to the Uruguayan has told ESPN.
• Randall: Life after Di Canio
Di Canio was sacked after just 13 games in the Sunderland hotseat after watching his side earn just one point from the club’s five games this season.
Former Brighton boss Poyet has emerged as the leading contender to replace Di Canio, with Roberto Di Matteo, Tony Pulis and Steve McClaren among the others to have been linked with job. Watford boss Gianfranco Zola had also been touted as an option but the Italian's agent ruled him on Wednesday.
Poyet has been out of work since being axed by the Seagulls in June but is now set to return to management in what will be his first job in the Premier League.
The ex-Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder has yet to officially put pen to paper on a Sunderland deal, but a source close to Poyet told ESPN: “The Sunderland job is all but Gustavo’s.
“There’s been no shortage of attention since he left Brighton and just this week a club in the Middle East and a big South American club have shown an interest.
“But Sunderland want Gustavo and he has always been adamant that he will stay In England; the prospect of managing in the Premier League is obviously a huge draw.”
Poyet himself admitted that he had applied for the Sunderland job, telling the Daily Mirror: "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."