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Di Canio favourite for Reading job

Former Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio is a contender to succeed Brian McDermott as Reading's new manager, according to reports.

• Blog: Zingarevich wields axe

McDermott was relieved of his duties on Monday after Reading's 2-1 loss at home to Aston Villa left the club four points adrift of Premier League safety.

Their owner, Anton Zingarevich, said he felt "a change was necessary", and since the sacking several names have been linked with the vacant post.

Di Canio, who left Swindon in February, is the bookmakers' favourite for the position, and a report in the Times that the Italian was in attendance at the Madejski Stadium for the Villa game have added fuel to those rumours.

Ex-Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo, the sacked Southampton manager Nigel Adkins and Alan Curbishley are among the other coaches to be linked.

Meanwhile, Reading striker Jason Roberts has expressed his sadness at the news of McDermott's departure, with the boss having been at the helm since December 2009.

"Well I am saddened," Roberts told Sky Sports News. "I hadn't heard anything about it I just found out earlier and as in most situations players are probably one of last people to find out about these things.

"I am saddened because he has been absolutely fantastic for us, been fantastic for me personally and for the club and I think he's been a victim of his own success in some ways.

"I am sure he is going to be disappointed but as you know in football it's a result business and I am sure he will say that as much as anybody else but as a player I am disappointed and it is a sad day for us."

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