FORMER West Ham player and Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio has emerged as the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Brian McDermott as the new manager of Reading.
Di Canio guided the Robins to promotion from League 2 last season in his first managerial role before stepping down from his post due to behind the scenes issues concerning a takeover bid of the Wiltshire club. Di Canio was in the crowd at Madejski Stadium on Saturday as the Royals lost 2-1 at home to Aston Villa.
Robert Di Matteo, who guided Chelsea to Champions League success last season, has been installed as the second favourite.
Other names being linked with the post include Nigel Adkins, Alan Curbishley, Dick Advocaat, Andrei Shevchenko and Stuart Pearce. Former Royals’ player Phil Parkinson, who guided Bradford City to the Captial One Cup final last month, has also been linked with a move back to Madejski Stadium as has former manager Steve Coppell.
McDermott was sacked by the club on Monday, 48 hours after seeing his side slip to their fourth successive Premier League defeat. The result that left the Royals four points adrift of the Premier League drop zone with just nine matches remaining. McDermott’s assistant, Nigel Gibbs, has also left the club.
This Saturday the Royals face the arduous task of travelling to league leaders Manchester United. Eamonn Dolan, head of the Royals’ academy, will take charge of the side until a new manager is appointed.
After the clash at Old Trafford on Saturday, the Royals have a two-week international break before their next fixture away to Arsenal on March 30.