Gus Poyet understood to have agreed three-year deal to take over as Sunderland’s head coach

The former Brighton and Hove Albion manager has been favourite for the job since Di Canio was sacked a fortnight ago

Gus Poyet, who is understood to be the new Sunderland head coach.

Gus Poyet, who is understood to be the new Sunderland head coach.

Tue, Oct 8, 2013, 01:00


Sunderland’s search for a successor to Paolo Di Canio is over, with Gus Poyet understood to have agreed a three-year deal to take over as the club’s head coach.

The former Brighton and Hove Albion manager has been favourite for the job since Di Canio was sacked a fortnight ago, his tenure ending only five games into the new Premier League season and after 14 players were signed in the summer.

Poyet held talks with Sunderland officials in the wake of the Italian’s dismissal but Ellis Short, the club’s owner, has considered Kevin Ball’s credentials on an interim basis for the past three games. With Sunderland rooted to the bottom of the table with only one point, however, Short has moved to end the uncertainty over the head coach’s position and further talks with Poyet have recently taken place.

Although there has been no official confirmation from the club, the 45-year-old could be unveiled as early as today .

Sunderland have spoken to Poyet, Ball and the former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen over the vacancy at the Stadium of Light and the move for the Uruguayan represents a major vote of confidence in the director of football, Roberto De Fanti.

It also reflects Short’s desire for a coach who can fit into the club’s managerial system. The influx of signings from abroad – only five of this summer’s recruits had Premier League experience – is also believed to be a factor.

Poyet is De Fanti’s leading choice and was considered for the post when Sunderland parted company with Martin O’Neill last season, only for Brighton’s entitlement to compensation to cool their interest. Poyet was subsequently suspended by Brighton and sacked in June for “gross misconduct”, an allegation the former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder has strenuously denied and threatened to take legal action over.

The Uruguayan, like Di Canio before him, has not managed at Premier League level and his coaching experience in the top flight involves 12 months as assistant to Juande Ramos at Tottenham. He has also coached at Swindon Town and Leeds United alongside Dennis Wise and enjoyed a successful three-and-a-half-year spell at Brighton.
Guardian Service