Football: Congerton named Sunderland sporting director

Former Chelsea chief scout Lee Congerton has been appointed as Sunderland's new sporting director, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

Congerton, who also previously worked as a youth coach at Liverpool, arrives from German side Hamburg, where he had been working as technical director.

In a statement on their website, Sunderland said that Congerton would work "alongside head coach Gus Poyet, overseeing player recruitment and the club's domestic and international scouting operation".

"I'm delighted to join Sunderland AFC and would like to thank the board and owner for this great opportunity," Congerton said.

"Working alongside Gus and his team was one of the influential factors in me joining the club and something that I am very much looking forward to."

Congerton joined Liverpool in 2002 after his semi-professional playing career was cut short by injury and later spent six years at Chelsea before moving to Hamburg in 2011.

"Lee is very highly regarded within football circles and we have been very impressed by him," said Sunderland chief executive Margaret Byrne.

"We feel he is the perfect fit for the club in terms of developing our player recruitment strategy and helping to take the club forward."

Sunderland's previous director of football, Italian Roberto De Fanti, left the club in January, four months after his compatriot Paolo Di Canio was sacked as manager.