SWANSEA midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung has emerged as the next target for Sunderland after the Black Cats completed the signing of Greek winger Charis Mavrias.
Mavrias became Sunderland’s 11th summer signing yesterday after finalising a £2.5million move from Panathinaikos, with the 19-year-old penning a four-year deal at the Stadium of Light.
But Di Canio remains eager to add a creative midfielder to his squad before the transfer deadline, with Sunderland understood to have a genuine interest in Ki.
The Black Cats are thought to have made an enquiry to take Ki on loan, despite the South Korean only joining Swansea last August in a £6m move from Celtic .
Ki, an international team-mate of Black Cats striker Ji Dong-won, is down the pecking order at the Liberty Stadium and was not even on the bench for Swansea’s Europa League victory over Petrolul Ploiesti last night.
And despite remaining coy over Sunderland’s interest in Ki, Swans boss Michael Laudrup suggested last night that the 24-year-old could leave the club before the transfer window closes.
Laudrup said: “We have to wait until there is something concrete. We all know there is competition for positions here, especially in midfield.
“I have always tried to help players when they come to speak to me, but it has to be right for the club as well.
“I have spoken to Ki, but I won’t repeat what was said.”
Sunderland also remain in the market for a new left-back, but, as the Echo reported earlier this week, that appears unlikely to be Juventus’s Paolo De Ceglie.
But Di Canio is pleased to have Mavrias on board and believes the Greek international will provide cover for widemen Emanuele Giaccherini and Adam Johnson.
“We need to be able to rotate our players over the course of a long season,” said Di Canio. “And Mavrias is another player added to the squad who can increase our options.
“We have a cup game coming up soon and when you are competing in cup competitions, you need to have that facility to change the team, to rest players and give others opportunity. So I’m very pleased with the signing – we have increased the squad but also signed a potentially very exciting young player.”
Mavrias’s move became something of a saga after Sunderland had a £2.5m offer accepted last month before stalling on the move.
After James McClean’s £1m switch to Wigan a fortnight ago, Sunderland resurrected their interest and approached Panathinaikos about a season-long loan.
That was rejected by the Greek side, but when Sunderland returned to their original cash bid last week, the details of the deal were quickly sealed.
Mavrias, who could be involved at Southampton tomorrow, said: “The Premier League is the best in the world and the difference with Greece is very big because the level in England is very high. But I am 19 years old and i played the full season last year, with a lot of games.
“I think this is the best time for my next step.”