SUNDERLAND hope interest from River Plate will spark a bidding war for Nacho Scocco after receiving an opening offer for the Argentine forward.
As the Echo reported last week, Scocco and his agent Fabian Soldini, held talks with Sunderland over the weekend after arriving on Wearside armed with an offer from the 29-year-old’s former club Newell’s Old Boys.
Newell’s are desperate to sign Scocco, yet with finances tight, it is thought their bid was only around the £1.5million mark - less than half the £4m fee Sunderland paid to Brazilian club Internacional in the January transfer window.
It is understood that Newell’s are still waiting for Sunderland’s response, but their hopes of landing Scocco could be complicated by interest from River Plate.
River would have the financial might to reimburse Sunderland’s outlay on Scocco and sources in Argentina have indicated that they are preparing an opening bid, albeit the forward has suggested he would prefer to return to Newell’s after a successful loan spell there two years ago.
Sunderland realise that Scocco wants to bring a premature end to his career at the Stadium of Light after failing to start a single Premier League game or score a goal since his January arrival.
Towards the end of last season, head coach Gus Poyet accepted that Scocco’s signing hadn’t paid off as planned, but hoped a full pre-season would produce a dramatic upturn in his fortunes.
But if Sunderland can make their money back on the Argentine international, they will cut their losses now.
Meanwhile, former Sunderland youngster Jordan Cook has penned a two-year deal with League One outfit Walsall.
Easington Lane-born Cook was released by Championship side Charlton during the summer and has decided to re-join the Saddlers, where he enjoyed a two-month loan spell during his Sunderland days.
“I really enjoyed my first spell and I’ve kept an eye on the club’s results ever since,” said Cook.