Sunderland bring in scouting expert to help with summer overhaul
Sunderland will overhaul their squad this summer - and the club has appointed a new scouting expert to help.
Rob Mackenzie, who played a key role in helping mastermind Leicester City's remarkable upturn in fortunes, will work with new chief football officer Simon Wilson.
Mackenzie is understood to be working in a consultancy capacity on a short-term basis as Sunderland brace themselves for a major summer of change.
Following the club's relegation to the Championship, several players are set to depart Wearside this summer with Jermain Defoe, Jordan Pickford, Lamine Kone and Fabio Borini among those expected to move on.
And with several players out of contract too including Jan Kirchhoff, Victor Anichebe and Seb Larsson and loan players Javier Manquillo, Adnan Januzaj and Jason Denayer returning to their parent clubs, Sunderland have a huge summer ahead if they are to mount a serious promotion bid next season.
Speaking in the aftermath of the club's relegation from the Premier League, owner Ellis Short admitted mistakes have been made in his tenure and that player recruitment has been a major factor in the club's demise.Manager David Moyes has met with Short and chief executive Martin Bain in recent weeks with more talks planned to thrash out a way forward for the club, with Moyes giving the strongest indication yet ahead of the Hull City win that he will remain in charge at Sunderland next season.
Short and Bain both want him to stay and the manager has put forward his initial plans before they reconvene at the end of the season.
Recruitment expert Mackenzie helped assemble the title-winning Leicester squad under former Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri, with Mackenzie heavily involved in the deal that saw Leicester sign Riyad Mahrez from Le Havre for just Â£350,000.
Mackenzie left the King Power Stadium to become head of player identification at Tottenham and has since worked under Nigel Pearson at Derby County as their director of recruitment.
Sunderland have now moved to bring him in to help with the summer recruitment plans, an area the club simply has to get right if they are to stand a chance of mounting a promotion challenge in a hugely competitive Championship.
On Mackenzie's LinkedIn profile, his role at Sunderland is described as a recruitment operations consultant working at the club for three-months, with his focus on evaluating scouting processes and providing recommendations leading into the summer transfer window.