Ex-Sunderland and Inter Milan midfielder looking to get career back on track at Sampdoria after 'tough' six months

Ricky Alvarez
Ricky Alvarez
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Ex-Sunderland player Ricky Alvarez hopes to secure a long-term stay with Sampdoria and get his career back on track after a torrid spell on Wearside.

The 27-year-old is at heart of an ongoing legal battle between the Black Cats, Inter Milan and FIFA.

Sunderland were duty-bound to sign Alvarez in an £8million deal last summer after his season-long loan, but pulled out of the deal by claiming Inter breached the terms of the contract.

Sunderland believe Inter’s hesitation in approving surgery for a knee injury saw them breach the terms of the contract.

An arbitration case is ongoing but FIFA gave permission for Alvarez to continue playing earlier this year and a final decision could be made this week.

In January, Alvarez was allowed to join Sampdoria on a deal until the end of the season.

Speaking to the Italian media, Alvarez has revealed he hopes to seal a long-term stay with the Genoa-based side and get his career back on track.

"It's something that is between Inter and Sunderland, luckily I found Sampdoria who were willing to give me a chance," Alvarez told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It was tough being without a club for six months and nobody was really thinking about me.

"Luckily I had my family and Velez Sarsfield, who gave me an opportunity to train with them.

"These are all things that have helped me grow and made me who I am. I've learned to look out for myself more.

"Let's just focus on finishing the season well. My hope is to remain here where I am happy."

The Argentina international is yet to score in nine top-flight appearances for Sampdoria.

"It's true but I haven't played a lot," he added.

"It is something I have to improve on as I have to shoot even if it isn't a perfect opportunity."