Report: Senior Sunderland players want British manager

QPR assistant coach Steve McClaren during a friendly match against Exeter on July 11, 2013
© Getty Images
Sunderland's senior players reportedly favour the appointment of an British manager.

Sunderland's senior players have reportedly urged the club's board to replace Paolo Di Canio with an English manager who has previously managed in the Premier League.

The Italian was sacked last Sunday, with the Black Cats bottom of the table, and the search for his successor has reportedly been whittled down to one of three options.

Director of football Roberto de Fanti has a preference to appointing Gus Poyet due to the former Brighton & Hove Albion manager's multilingual skills, which he feels will be key in a changing room full of different nationalities.

Recently-departed Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen is another candidate, but The Observer reports that Sunderland's senior players would favour a more experienced British boss.

That leaves former England and Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren in pole position from the squad's perspective, but Poyet is currently the odds-on favourite to take charge on Wearside.

Kevin Ball will continue his caretaker duties for Sunderland's encounter with Liverpool on Sunday.

Liverpool's English midfielder Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring his goal during the pre-season friendly football match between Liverpool and Olympiakos at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, northwest England on August 3, 2013
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