Sunderland chief executive Margaret Byrne has confirmed the club have opened discussions with a number of parties interested in the vacant manager’s position.
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The club dispensed with the services of Paolo Di Canio after last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion. After an eventful six months on Wearside, the Italian left the club bottom of the Premier League with just one point from their opening five games.
Speculation has been rife over who will succeed the 45-year-old at the Stadium of Light, with former Brighton boss Gus Poyet emerging as a clear favourite to land the job.
However, Byrne, writing in her programme notes ahead of the club’s game against Liverpool on Sunday, said: “I am sure you have read and heard all kinds of rumours and speculation about potential targets but much of this is guesswork.
“We have had contact with some interested parties already and have others to speak to in the coming days. As soon as we have identified the right person to take the club forward we will make an announcement.”
With caretaker manager Kevin Ball also confirming his interest in filling the vacancy this week, Byrne took the opportunity to thank the former Black Cats defender for his hard work and effort during a testing time or the club.
“Our thanks go to Kevin Ball, Robbie Stockdale and the members of the back-room team, who have taken charge of first-team duties during this interim period,” Byrne said. “Kevin is a highly respected and qualified coach who knows the football club inside out.
“He is hugely passionate about Sunderland and well respected, not just by everyone at the club by the wider football world. Of course Sunderland fans remember his wholehearted committed 100% approach to football and Kevin brings this ethos to his management of the team too.”