SUNDERLAND have ruled out reviving their interest in Liverpool striker Fabio Borini in the January transfer window, the Echo understands.
The Black Cats spent all summer attempting to bring last season’s loanee Borini back to the Stadium of Light after agreeing a club record-equalling £14million fee with Liverpool.
But despite Gus Poyet making Borini his number one target, the Italian effectively priced himself out a move to Sunderland – and then QPR on deadline day – with his £90,000 a week wage demands.
It is understood that Sunderland have no intention of becoming embroiled in another transfer saga involving Borini and are looking at alternative targets for next month’s window.
Borini, mooted to be on the hit-list of Italian giants Inter Milan, has started just three games since returning to Anfield during the summer and has failed to find the net this season for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
He hasn’t even been on the bench for Liverpool’s last two games, albeit he could be involved in Sunderland’s trip to Merseyside tomorrow.
But with Liverpool’s striking options stretched due to injuries to both Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli, there are question marks over whether they would sanction Borini’s departure in January, although that will make no difference to Sunderland.
The Black Cats are likely to be in the market to add to their attacking options next month and have been linked with a loan move for Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah.
But Sunderland hope that the return to fitness of on-loan Inter Milan attacking midfielder Ricky Alvarez will boost their goal threat, while Connor Wickham has begun to make an impression in the left-sided forward role where Borini thrived last season.
Sunderland were looking to bring in another central midfielder and a long-term centre-half during the summer, and they also remain areas that Poyet is keen to strengthen.
Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk was one of Sunderland’s main targets for the defensive role, although the Dutchman’s £10million asking price proved to be prohibitive, with Arsenal rumoured to be interested in the 23-year-old too.
But the Black Cats are in the midst of finalising their wish-list for January, with Poyet holding another meeting with sporting director Lee Congerton at the Academy of Light yesterday morning.
“We’ve had two or three meetings already about targets for January,” said Poyet.
“We’re trying to define names and numbers.
“Most of the sporting directors I know want the whole of December to plan it.”