Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio is closing in on a move to appoint Inter Milan's Valentino Angeloni as his new head of scouting.
The Black Cats recently dispensed with the services of the vastly-experienced Bryan "Pop" Robson, and it is understood that Angeloni is being lined up as his replacement.
Di Canio has wasted little time in recruiting his own staff having arrived at the Stadium of Light along with assistant manager Fabricio Piccareta and goalkeeping coach Domenico Doardo, and compatriot Roberto De Fanti is expected to take on the role of director of football.
However, the former Swindon boss has indicated he intends to bring in six or seven new faces this summer to re-shape a squad which only just avoided relegation last season, and he is keen to establish a new scouting system to facilitate a long-term rebuilding programme.
Owner and chairman Ellis Short invested heavily in Scotland striker Steven Fletcher and England winger Adam Johnson last summer, handing then manager Martin O'Neill a total of around £22million to land his two main targets.
However, Short is keen to adopt a more sustainable approach by, much like derby rivals Newcastle, targeting young talent with sell-on value.
Angeloni was himself a professional player and made more than 350 career appearances after coming through the ranks at Sampdoria.
He went on to work at Cremona, Torino and Udinese, but moved to Inter in March last year to head up the club's scouting set-up.
The Black Cats have already been actively sounding out potential signings with Basle midfielder Cabral and Maritimo defender Valentin Roberge among their initial targets.