Sunderland face a search for another right-back solution after a proposed £3million move for Davide Santon fell through at the 11th hour last night.
The Black Cats had been expected to confirm the capture of ex-Newcastle United defender Santon from Inter Milan yesterday after he arrived in the North East to undergo a medical.
However, Sunderland released a statement last night confirming they had ended their pursuit of the 25-year-old after a breakdown in talks with Inter. “Sunderland AFC will not be pursuing its interest in Inter Milan player Davide Santon, after negotiations between the two clubs failed to reach a positive conclusion,” said the one-line statement.
Despite reports in Italy that Santon rejected a Sunderland contract due to a wage reduction clause in the event of relegation, it is thought that the move collapsed due to issues between the two clubs.
Sunderland have history with Inter after pulling out of a permanent move for Ricky Alvarez last summer – a dispute which arbitrators FIFA are yet to resolve to a satisfactory conclusion.
The collapse of the deal leaves Sunderland still needing to urgently address the issue of a new right-back after the departure of last season’s loanee, DeAndre Yedlin.
Santon would have provided a cost-effective solution to that area and has Premier League appearance after making almost 100 appearances for Newcastle.
However, Sunderland’s hope of bringing in a new striker have received a boost after main target Diafra Sakho submitted a transfer request at West Ham.
West Ham have been prepared to sell Sakho, but they have put any move on ice until a replacement frontman arrives – a search which has proved frustrating after Carlos Tevez became the latest potential deal to fall through.
However, the 26-year-old – absent from West Ham’s pre-season trip to America because of illness – wants his future resolved, hence his formal request to leave.
Allardyce is desperate to bring in a quality frontman to either use alongside or instead of last season’s top scorer Jermain Defoe and will have to shell out around £15m to land Sakho – which would break Sunderland’s club record transfer fee.
But Sunderland are thought to be prepared to spend big on a striker, particularly as the new television deal has significantly increased price tags so far this summer.