Sunderland not finished bringing in new signings

Sunderland AFC are not done with summer spending spree as they look to bring Greek winger Charis Mavrias to Wearside

Vladimir Rys/Getty Images Charis Mavrias of Panathinaikos
Charis Mavrias of Panathinaikos

Sunderland are set to make their eleventh signing of the summer with the imminent capture of Greek winger Charis Mavrias.

The 19-year-old’s £2.5million move from Panathinkaikos is expected to be completed over the next 48 hours.

Paolo Di Canio initially wanted Mavrias on loan, but the Greek club were always going to hold out for a permanent deal.

The Sunderland manager promised to change everything and nobody can dispute his authenticity.

But he has dismissed the notion that he wants to turn Sunderland into an Italian club.

Di Canio revealed that the club would always have an English heart; because that’s the way he wants it to stay, despite filling the backroom staff with his countrymen.

The Sunderland boss said: “I spoke to the chairman (Ellis Short) and after four years and he wasn’t very happy. He wanted change and a different environment. The idea was to bring in the Italian mentality.

“But for me that is wrong. I left Italy for this reason. I didn’t get a job there, I didn’t want a job there, in Serie B. I came to League Two in England instead.

“I’ve always said I don’t want to touch money, I don’t want to know money, you have to tell me only the numbers. If I tell you I want to have this player, that costs �8m and we are out of the budget? OK. I will tell you the characteristics of the player that I want.

“The Italian mentality in general is the general director and the scout decide the players to bring in. In Italy, the general director chooses the manager, the coach and the players.

“If something goes wrong after two months, the manager is going to be sacked. They bring in another manager, they choose another manager.

“After three months, something goes wrong, the manager is going to be sacked. When are you going to sack yourself? How can you decide the players and the manager. That can’t be possible.

“This is why the Italian league is a disaster.”

English clubs have hardly been slow themselves to sack managers in recent times.

Di Canio puts that down to the increasing foreign influence in the boardrooms around the country.

He said: “So in England you’ve started sacking managers? In England there are intelligent people, that is why this nation always goes well, not just in football, but when there is a crisis or something, you sort out the problems in some way. There is intelligence.

“Not pimps – I call pimps the people in the Italy environment of politics.

“Sometimes you think the worst. And why? Because there are also many foreign general directors and foreign chairmen in England over the last few years.

“The company is a company. If something goes wrong, who has to pay? The manager, straight away, because otherwise this business is gone, if we delay it we go down, we lose £65m first season, maybe £65m the second season if we don’t go up again, and then I can’t build the hotel or maybe the new facilities there, if we go down we have problems.

“It has become easy to point the finger. I’m not worried. I hope never but it can happen to me, even in one months time. It is part of this job, I am intelligent.

“It will be tough if it happened. I’m sure it won’t happen for results, but it can happen for a different reason. It could be here or another club in 10 years time. It will happen for a different reason rather than results.

“Then you can have your interpretation. If you are 12th in the league, after 10 games, and you think we didn’t reach the level, it can also be for the results.

“In Italy, nine times out of 10, they sack one manager that was there, bring in your friend that you can handle. They say, ‘I give you your job, but I do the business in general, bring in players, you have to only the coach them.’

“That is normal in Italy. In here it is not as clear. But the chairmen are busier, they have their own big businesses far from here.”


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