Sunderland boss Paolo di Canio's first signing of his reign is a Manchester United reject.

Teenage non-League sensation Duncan Watmore joined on a two-year deal from Altrincham yesterday. He is son of former FA chief executive Ian Watmore.

Stoke City, Hull City, Bolton, Blackburn, Burnley, Wolves and Peterborough were all keen to offer him terms, but Sunderland won the race for his signature after agreeing an undisclosed fee with Altrincham.

Released by Manchester United after six years at their academy, Watmore is studying economics and finance at Manchester University but will transfer his degree course to Sunderland, as he prepares to link up with Kevin Ball's under-21 squad.