Sunderland and Inter Milan face an anxious wait to discover their fate over the Ricky Alvarez saga.
The Black Cats were initially expecting to find out in March whether they will be forced to shell out more than £8million for a player they do not own.
But the decision has been put back, with both clubs facing a further wait to find out their fate.
Sunderland have been at loggerheads with Inter Milan for more than a year over the Argentina international, who headed for the Stadium of Light on loan in August 2014 with a view to completing a permanent transfer which was to be triggered if they retained their Premier League status.
However, Alvarez’s stay on Wearside was blighted by injury and despite fending off relegation under Dick Advocaat, they pulled the plug on the proposed deal, sparking a lengthy wrangle which resulted in a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing in Lausanne last December.
Should the decision go against Sunderland, they would face a 10million euro bill – around £8.4million – for a player who started just five Premier League games across his 17 appearances for the club.
It is understood the club has budgeted for such a scenario, but it would still be a significant blow given Sunderland are £110million in debt and posted a £33million loss for the year up to July 2016.
Sunderland’s argument is that Inter’s hesitation in sanctioning knee surgery for the player justified their decision not to honour the contract.
The 29-year-old was left without a club with neither Inter nor Sunderland requiring his services, and was eventually given special dispensation to join Sampdoria on loan in January last year before completing a permanent move as a free agent. This season he has made 21 appearances scoring two goals.