THE Italian influence at Sunderland is set to continue with the appointment of two prominent talent-spotters.
Sunderland opted for a fresh start with their scouting department after the dismissal of Martin O’Neill last March, with chief scout Pop Robson among those to be axed during the summer.
It was one area of the club which Ellis Short and director of football Roberto De Fanti felt needed change, with ex-Inter Milan chief scout Valentino Angeloni confirmed in the same role at Sunderland last month.
Angeloni has wasted little time in assembling a support network of familiar faces with two arrivals in the club’s backroom team. Massimo Mirabelli is joining the club after a fruitful period working alongside Angeloni at Inter, while he is also a former director of football at Italian lower league side Cosenza.
Highly-rated former Torino chief scout Antonio D’Ottavio is joining the Black Cats too.
Sources in Italy have expressed surprise at Torino’s consent to allow D’Ottavio to join Sunderland and expect him to make a significant impact in sourcing players for the Black Cats.
Di Canio already has first team coach Fabrizio Piccareta and fitness coach Claudio Donatelli alongside him from his homeland.