SUNDERLAND’S new era has officially begun with the confirmation of the appointment of new director of football Roberto De Fanti and chief scout Valentino Angeloni.
The Black Cats also confirmed the widely-expected signing of three new recruits for next season – FC Basel midfielder Cabral, Lazio defender Modibo Diakite and Valentin Roberge.
But it is the restructuring of the club’s player recruitment structures which will have longer-term implications for the club, who have made an impressive appointment in the admired Angeloni.
He will take over from former chief scout Pop Robson but De Fanti will take on the newly-created role of director of football, which is a first for the Black Cats as they move towards a more Continental structure. That decision had been taken long before Di Canio’s appointment, with Martin O’Neill understood to have been introduced to the Italian before his dismissal.
Registered agent De Fanti is a friend and associate of Ellis Short and the club’s statement yesterday made reference to his role in the appointment of Paolo Di Canio, who has been consulted on the appointment of both men.
It appeals to Short because Angeloni – who had a fantastic record at Udinese before joining Inter Milan in March 2012 – has already worked closely with De Fanti and has proved in the past he is capable of discovering players rather than recommending established internationals who will place a further strain on the club’s wage bill.
Sunderland, of course, need both emerging talents and experienced players and are keen to use the overseas market – hence the trio of signings set to be unveiled on July 1.
Sunderland CEO Margaret Byrne told the club’s website: “Roberto and Valentino bring with them a wealth of experience, knowledge and football contacts from across Europe and indeed the world and we are delighted to welcome them to Sunderland.
“The recruitment of players is, of course, key for any club and Roberto and Valentino will work closely with the head coach and the Board to identify targets as we look to strengthen our squad for next season and beyond.
“I would also like to extend our thanks to the President of Inter Milan, Massimo Moratti, who graciously agreed to allow Valentino to make the move to Sunderland.”