SUNDERLAND continue to await news on Lucas Orban, with two of their contingency plans at left-back looking unlikely to pay off.
Argentine defender Orban was expected to make a decision on his future by the end of last week, with Sunderland, River Plate and Villarreal all vying for his signature.
But there has still been no word from the Atletico Tigre man, who Sunderland have been chasing throughout the summer.
Suderland remain hopeful that the lure of the Premier League will prove decisive in landing the 22-year-old, with the greater exposure of playing in England potentially beneficial in Orban’s hopes of securing a place in the Argentina squad for next summer’s World Cup.
But the Black Cats are being made to sweat over Orban’s signature, with a new left-back arguably the only glaring omission in Paolo Di Canio’s summer recruitment drive so far.
Sunderland hope to finalise the signings of attacking midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini, Greek winger Charas Mavrias and right-back Gino Peruzzi by the end of this week.
The conclusion of Giaccherini’s deal has been delayed after his wife gave birth to daughter Caterina on Thursday, while Peruzzi will now travel to Wearside tomorrow to complete his £4million switch from Velez Sarsfield.
And even though Sunderland have been in talks with Spurs over central midfielder Tom Huddlestone, it is already an area where Di Canio has several options.
But Sunderland still have no specialist left-back on the books after the departure of last season’s loanee Danny Rose.
The Black Cats enquired about Eintracht Frankfurt’s Bastian Oczipka last week, but have been told the 24-year-old is not for sale.
And they have also been linked with Inter Milan’s Italian Under-21 international Cristiano Biraghi, who is expected to leave the San Siro either on loan or permanently this summer.
But Biraghi’s agent, Mario Giuffredi, insists he has had no discussions with Sunderland over the 20-year-old.
Giuffredi said: “Honestly, I’m not aware of it. I’m not sure if they (Sunderland) have spoken with Inter.
“There have been several signs of interest (from within Serie A) but really nothing concrete yet.
“We are waiting for Inter’s decision and thinking about the best possibilities for the player.”
Jack Colback filled in at left-back for Sunderland’s training ground game against a local select XI last week, despite the academy product turning down a new contract at the Stadium of Light.
The 23-year-old, who has just a year remaining on his current Sunderland deal, was linked with a £2million move to Premier League new boys Cardiff City over the weekend.
But Sunderland remain determined to keep hold of Colback and are confident the Tynesider will pen a new contract with the club.