Former Sunderland target moves on ... to Italy

Gino Peruzzi.
Gino Peruzzi.
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GINO Peruzzi, whose move to Sunderland broke down on a failed medical last month, has joined Italian side Catania.

The 21-year-old Argentine defender was the Black Cats’ top target to strengthen their right-back position when the close season began.

And the Velez Sarsfield man got as close to completing the move as flying over to Wearside with club officials to finalise the deal.

But the move broke down amid confusion and controversy with Sunderland saying a knee injury was too serious for the club to take a risk on, while the Argentine outfit insisted the defender was in prime condition.

Paolo Di Canio’s take on the failed deal was to say: “My club is not a club that can sign players with some problems.

“We are not Manchester City who can think about buying a talented player with an injury and wait for him.

“At the moment, there is no chance for Gino Peruzzi to join us.”

Perhaps that “at the moment” phrase had many observers believing Sunderland’s interest was suspended rather than shelved.

And a theory had grown up since the failed move that Sunderland would go back in for the right-back in January or next summer’s transfer window, should he prove his fitness.

But those claims have been put to bed now that the South American has joined the Sicilian-based Serie A outfit in a £2.9m deal.

Sunderland meanwhile moved this week to address their right-back issue by signing former Czech Under 21 defender Ondrej Celustka on a season-long loan from Turkish side Trabzonspor.