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Di Canio: I had nothing to do with 14 Sunderland signings

Paolo di Canio blames those upstairs at Sunderland for his demise last season.

The Italian insists he wasn't allowed to sign his preferred players during the summer.

He told Sky Sports: "For the clarity of the situation, the 14 players that arrived at Sunderland during my time there - not one was brought by me.

"So that was clear the philosophy was changing.

"De Fanti (Roberto, director of football) and Angeloni (Valentino, chief scout) were the two responsible with maximum support from the chairman which is Ellis Short.

"It is public I asked them to bring in 80 per cent British footballers to avoid relegation.

"I really believe bringing eight or nine players who know how to play, how win and how to fight in this league, would be better. We signed not one British footballer.

"The only two who put on my stamp - I put in my determination where after two weeks we started the season and there were three days to go of the transfer market - I said 'OK if you can't bring in two British footballers in the middle of the field, or maybe one attacker one midfield player, then bring in two players who have already had Premier League experience.' They told me one could be Ki from Swansea and one Borini.

"I said I knew them because I used to follow Ki from Celtic so I said bring them straight away because, they are not British, but they have been here three or four years and have British football on their brain, in their legs and in their heart.

"That was fantastic and it is no coincidence that they were two crucial players who helped keep the club up."

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