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Former West Ham striker Di Canio appointed Sunderland boss

Paolo Di Canio has been appointed as the new manager at Sunderland.

The 44-year old former West Ham United striker and Swindon Town boss arrived at the Stadium of Light on Sunday to hold talks with Black Cats officials regarding the role vacated by Martin O'Neill on Saturday.

Di Canio has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal and his first goal will be to keep the club aloft in the Premier League as they currently sit just one point out of the drop zone.

Sunderland chairman Ellis Short said: "Paolo is hugely enthused by the challenge that lies ahead of him. He is passionate, driven and raring to get started.

"The sole focus of everyone for the next seven games will be to ensure we gain enough points to maintain our top-flight status.

"I think that the chances of that are greatly increased with Paolo joining us.

"Our fans have shown tremendous patience and understanding this season.

"They have continued to back the team in huge numbers, both home and away, and that is something that continues to inspire all of us in our drive to give them the successful club they deserve.

"That remains our primary aim."

Di Canio left his role at Swindon in February after a number of disagreements with the board - the major issue being the sale of Matt Ritchie to Bournemouth without his consent.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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