Sunderland AFC news: Sam Allardyce taking his players to Dubai, Paolo Di Canio wants to return

Paolo Di Canio

Paolo Di Canio

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Sunderland are heading to Dubai next week to prepare for the relegation run-in in the sunshine.

With the Black Cats not involved in the FA Cup fifth round, there is a fortnight between Premier League games after this Saturday's visit of Manchester United.

And Sam Allardyce will take his players to the Middle East for several days after making the same trip during his tenure as West Ham boss.

"We’re going away for a training break in the sunshine and hopefully we’ll get another improvement in our physical output," said Allardyce.

One of Sunderland's past heroes is also making the news today after a group of Black Cats fans unveiled plans to create a statue of 'Player of the Century' Charlie Hurley.

"Charlie Hurley turns 80 this year," said local businessman Martin O'Neill.

"Virtually every other city in the country has a statue to one of its heroes – there’s a statue of Phil Lynott outside his favourite bar in Dublin and Newcastle has the Jackie Milburn statue, so why not one of Charlie?"

Meanwhile, ex-Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio wants to become the new Rotherham boss after applying for the vacant position with the Championship club, who sacked boss Neil Redfearn yesterday.

It is the second time that Di Canio has applied to take charge of the Millers after he was unsuccessful in his bid to land the job in September.