Roberto Di Matteo has emerged as the early bookies' favourite for the vacant Sunderland managers job following the sacking of fellow Italian Paolo Di Canio last night, according to Sky Sports.
Di Canio was dismissed after only 13 games in charge of The Black Cats and now his compatriot Di Matteo could be ready to take his place.
Sunderland have failed to register a win in their first five league games of the season which included Saturday's 3-0 away defeat to West Brom.
Di Canio confronted the Sunderland fans at the end of the match in a bid to show his awareness of the situation but he was relieved of his duties little more than 24 hours later.
Di Matteo, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012, has been without a club since November after failing to convince Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich his future lied with the West London club.
Sunderland remain at the bottom of the Premier League table with only one point to show from their fixtures thus far and will have coach Kevin Ball in charge of first-team affairs for the foreseeable future as they look for a quick turnaround of fortunes.
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