Gus Poyet has signed a new two-year deal at Sunderland, ending Southampton’s hopes of bringing the Uruguayan to St Mary’s to be Mauricio Pochettino’s successor.
The 46-year-old had a break clause in his previous contract which would have come into effect on Sunday, when he would be able to walk away from the club without compensation payable. Since saving them from relegation last month, owner Ellis Short has been keen to tie up a deal for his manager.
It is likely that Poyet will be handed the kind of control he has sought to overhaul a club that he feels has underperformed for too long. There could be changes throughout, including to the academy system. He will work closely with the director of football Lee Congerton to rebuild a squad which will lose a lot of players who have drifted out of contract. He has a good relationship with the former Chelsea scout.
Eight first-team players came to the end of their deals this summer, and of them only Jack Colback and Sebastian Larsson remain at the club. Colback is highly sought after, especially given his home-grown status, and Larsson is unlikely to stay too. It was partly this situation which gave Poyet cause to question whether he should extend his stay at the club.
There has been interest in Poyet from Southampton, who regarded him as their first choice to succeed Pochettino, but Short has given his manager assurances that he supports his vision for the club. He took over last season with the club having gained just one point from their first seven games under Paulo Di Canio and ended Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten home record in the league at Stamford Bridge.