Sunderland have parted company with director of football Roberto De Fanti.
The Italian was
appointed to that role in June 2013,
having arrived at the club earlier that year when Paolo Di Canio was appointed as head coach.
De Fanti had remained at the Stadium of Light when
Di Canio was sacked in September
after 13 games in charge.
"The club would like to place on record its thanks to Roberto and wishes him well for the future,"
a Black Cats statement
The Wearside club signed 14 players under the guidance of De Fanti in last summer's transfer window, spending approximately £19m.
Sunderland's buys included AZ Alkmaar striker
and Arsenal goalkeeper
But when Di Canio was dismissed, most of his
- first-team coach Fabrizio Piccareta, goalkeeping coach Domenico Doardo, fitness coach Claudio Donatelli and physio Giulio Viscardi - all left the club.
Now managed by Gus Poyet, Sunderland are 19th in the Premier League table and one point from safety.
They are 90 minutes from reaching the Capital One Cup final at Wembley after
establishing a 2-1 semi-final first leg lead over Manchester United.
The return leg takes place at Old Trafford on 22 January.