Sunderland AFC news: Alvarez signs for Sampdoria, Allardyce closes in on Bayern Munich defender, Bridcutt treated 'poorly'

Ricky Alvarez
Ricky Alvarez
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Ex-Sunderland loanee Ricky Alvarez has been allowed to sign for Italian side Sampdoria until the end of the season.

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

Alvarez started just five Premier League games during his injury-hit stint at Sunderland, before missing the final two months of the season with a knee problem.

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

The attacking midfielder is at the centre of a FIFA arbitration case between the Nerazzurri and the Premier League outfit.

And the Echo understands that case is yet to be heard, let alone a decision made.

But Alvarez has today been unveiled as a Sampdoria player. It is unclear though whether he is a free agent or has signed on loan from Inter Milan until the end of the season.

Either way, the 27-year-old can now focus on playing again after signing a deal until next summer with Vincenzo Montella’s side.

"President Massimo Ferrero and U.C. Sampdoria are proud to announce that Ricardo Gabriel Alvarez is officially a Blucerhciati player," read a statement on the club’s official website.

"The Argentine – who will wear the number 25 shirt – has signed a contract until 30 June 2016."

Meanwhile, reports this morning suggest Sam Allardyce is closing in on signing Bayern Munich centre-back Jan Kirchhoff with speculation a contract has been signed.

The Echo understands that is not the case but Kirchhoff is a target of Sunderland's with scouts watching him in action in recent weeks.

Sunderland have also been linked with a move for Steven Caulker, who has made just three Premier League appearances during his loan spell at Southampton.

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And finally Liam Bridcutt - who is expected to extend his loan spell at Championship side Leeds United today- has hit out at his 'poor' treatment at the Stadium of Light.

Bridcutt’s initial spell at Elland Road ended after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with MK Dons but Leeds expect Sunderland to honour an unwritten agreement for Bridcutt to remain in Yorkshire until May.

The 26-year-old, who has made eight appearances on loan, told the Yorkshire Evening Post it was time to move on after 18-months at Sunderland.

He said: "This officially was my last game.

"I'm hoping to extend it to the end of the season and I want to extend it. Leeds want me here and it's just waiting on Sunderland.

"For me, game time is the most important thing. The manager [Steve Evans] has been brilliant with me and given me a great opportunity to play.

"You can see that when I’m playing I’m back to my normal self.

"It's about time for me to move on from Sunderland and I want a new challenge.

"I never really fell out of love with (football) but at Sunderland I was treated poorly. I’ve come here, the manager has treated me well and so have the players and the fans."