FABIO BORINI is in the dark over what lies in store for him this summer, insisting there have been “no discussions” with parent club Liverpool over his future.
But Sunderland’s Young Player of the Year is eager to sign off his loan spell at the Stadium of Light by taking his goal tally for the campaign into double figures.
Borini will return to Anfield following Sunday’s final game of the season against Swansea, after proving to be a huge success during his stint with the Black Cats.
Head coach Gus Poyet has already outlined his eagerness for Borini to return to Wearside next season, although that looks to be a long shot, with another season-long loan possibly Sunderland’s best chance of keeping the Italian.
But, with his future still uncertain, the 23-year-old simply wants to end his loan in style by surpassing 10 goals for the campaign after netting his ninth of the season in Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over West Brom.
“The target is to get into double figures,” said Borini.
“The last season I played fully I got 10 goals, so to equal that personal record is an obvious target.
“I’ve enjoyed every second here, not just every minute.
“It’s been great from the fans, the people, the city and everyone at the club – the love and friendship they’ve given me throughout the season.”
Borini’s goal against the Baggies sealed Sunderland’s Great Escape from the drop, with a game to spare.
The striker insists Sunderland’s players always believed they could survive, despite being seven points adrift of safety with just six games to go.
But now that Sunderland have guaranteed an eighth successive season in the Premier League, the Black Cats could rise as high as 12th on Sunday if they can beat Borini’s former club, Swansea.
“If we finish 12th, it would be an even better achievement,” added Borini.
“Six weeks ago, no-one could believe that we would finish there.
“Everyone is happy to achieve the target in this relegation battle and now we can think about next season.
“We’ll wait and see what happens in the last game, but we can enjoy this moment.
“We always believed and that’s what matters – keep believing, as the fans say.
“Wednesday was the last step of our job and we made sure we did that.
“We knew it was a key game and it was important to get two results (a win and a draw) out of the last three games.
“We got the first (a win) against Man United, so we were a bit confident about what would happen.”
* Don’t miss tomorrow’s online Football Echo – the last edition of the season. It’s available from around 6.45pm.