Sunderland director of football Roberto De Fanti has left the club with immediate effect.
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De Fanti joined the Black Cats in the summer as part of a new-look recruitment team at the Stadium of Light, including former Udinese and Inter Milan scout Valentino Angeloni.
The Italian oversaw the signing of 14 players from across Europe during his first transfer window, only for the acquisitions to have largely disappointed so far this season.
Their lack of success on the pitch ultimately led to Paolo Di Canio’s sacking in September, and look to have helped contribute to De Fanti’s departure.
Sunderland confirmed the news on Friday via a statement released on the club’s official website.
The statement read: “Sunderland AFC has announced that the club has parted company with director of football Roberto De Fanti. The club would like to place on record its thanks to Roberto and wishes him well for the future.”
Di Canio publicly criticised De Fanti in November, and sources close to Sunderland have told ESPN FC that the former director of football also enjoyed a less-than-harmonious relationship with current boss Gustavo Poyet.
And with Poyet expressing reservations over De Fanti heading into the January transfer window, it remains to be seen whether Angeloni will also remain at the club.
The Black Cats have already been busy this month, signing Macros Alonso on loan from Fiorentina and sending summer signing Cabral to Genoa for the rest of the season.