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Di Canio favourite for Reading job

Paolo Di Canio is favourite to take over as Reading manager after the struggling Premier League club sacked Brian McDermott. Di Canio is available after recently quitting as boss of neighbours Swindon Town.

McDermott seems to have paid the price for his own achievement in taking Reading into the Premier League before the club was ready. A relatively paltry investment in new players has left Reading out of their depth and they lie bottom of the table. A club statement thanked McDermott for his achievements and added: "The search for a successor will start immediately. It is hoped a new manager will be in place as soon as possible to lead the fight against potential relegation."

Make that near-certain relegation. Reading forward Jason Roberts expressed his disappointment with the sacking. "I'm saddened really because he's been absolutely fantastic for us – for me personally and for the club," Roberts told Sky Sports. "I think he's been a victim of his own success in some ways but football is a results business and I'm sure he'll say that as much as anybody else."

Di Canio impressed in his first job as a manager, taking Swindon to promotion from Division Two. They were performing well in Division One despite financial problems. At one point Di Canio even offered £30,000 of his own money to pay wages. He left in February due to the club’s financial uncertainty. In the past he has said that his ambition is to manage West Ham, where he was adored as a player and where the stadium has a lounge named after him.

One potential obstacle to his appointment might be his fascist political views. He is an admirer of Mussolini and had a habit of giving the fascist salute to fans during his time at Lazio. At Swindon the GMB union withdrew their support of the club because of Di Canio’s appointment.

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