• Premier League

Poyet favourite for Sunderland job

ESPN staff
September 25, 2013
Mariner backs Di Matteo for Sunderland job

Former Brighton manager Gus Poyet is the favourite to replace Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland, as Gianfranco Zola has been ruled out of the running by his agent.

Poyet and Zola are two names that have been strongly linked to the job at the Stadium of Light, alongside their former Chelsea team-mate Roberto Di Matteo and ex-England boss Steve McClaren but bookmakers have the Uruguayan as the frontrunner.

However, while Poyet, who left Brighton under a cloud at the end of last season and is still understood to be involved in legal proceedings with the Championship side, has emerged as a frontrunner, Zola will not leave his current post at Watford.

"Zola is a coach who works to projects and he is currently involved in developing a project with Watford and, as things stand, I can affirm that he certainly will not consider jumping on any train which is already moving," his agent Fulvio Marrucco told Tuttomercatoweb.com. "We have a lot of respect for Sunderland, who are a glorious and big club, but we have not had any contact with them."

Zola may listen to offers next summer, though, when his current deal with the Hornets is due to expire.

"Gianfranco's contract expires at the end of the season and at that point, we will evaluate all of the opportunities which are offered to us," continued Marrucco. "It's a pleasure to hear his name linked to Premier League clubs, which only goes to show the great work he is doing at Watford."

The former Italy under-21 manager led Watford to the brink of a return to the Premier League last season and they are pushing for promotion once again this term with the chances of seeing Zola in the top flight next season, one way or another, looking good.

Download ESPN's new UK sport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close