Sunderland are ready to install a player agent as their director of football.
The Daily Mail says Roberto De Fanti has been working at Sunderlandâ€™s Cleadon training ground this week on a consultancy basis following owner Ellis Shortâ€™s dismissal of chief scout Bryan â€˜Popâ€™ Robson and his UK assistants, plus scouts in Holland and Spain.
And De Fanti, who represents Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong and Manchester Cityâ€™s Swedish striker John Guidetti, is helping with the recruitment of Robsonâ€™s replacement as chief scout with the likelihood of then being installed in a sporting director-style role.
Itâ€™s understood De Fanti is a Short, rather than a Paolo Di Canio, appointment, with the Sunderland chairman wanting an overhaul of the clubâ€™s transfer strategy following Â£30million being spent poorly in the last two windows.
Itâ€™s also said De Fanti played a part in recommending compatriot Di Canio to Short. A Sunderland spokeswoman said: "We are working through a number of changes leading to the appointment of a new chief scout."