ROBERTO DE FANTI, the director of football at Sunderland, is to leave the club after owner Ellis Short decided to dispense with his services.
The Italian, who brought in 14 players last summer with former manager Paolo Di Canio, will leave with two weeks of the transfer window still to run.
"Sunderland AFC has announced that the club has parted company with director of football Roberto De Fanti," a club statement said. "The club would like to place on record its thanks to Roberto and wishes him well for the future."
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It is understood that Short may not yet be ready to abandon the director of football post for good, but he has no replacement in mind.