FABIO Borini wants to fight for his place at Liverpool, despite the arrival of target-man Ricky Lambert increasing competition at Anfield.
It has been suggested the signing of the Southampton and England forward will push the young Italian closer to the exit door at Anfield again with another loan deal, or even a permanent move, real options.
But the 23-year-old himself has not given up hope on being part of the Reds’ assault on the Premier League and Champions League next season.
His agent, Marco De Marchi, said: “In this last season, Fabio gave a considerable contribution towards keeping Sunderland up.
“Does Lambert’s arrival close the door on Fabio Borini? No, I don’t think so.”
“He was praised by everyone, especially by the Liverpool manager Rodgers.
“So, after his holidays he will go back to Liverpool to prepare for the new season wearing the shirt of this historic club.
“He wants to compete with everyone and be an extra resource for the coach and the team.
“Borini could be of use to any team, but no one has contacted us and his desire is to show what he’s got a lot to offer Liverpool.”
That stance will disappoint Sunderland fans who developed a massive attachment to the livewire young attacker - scorer of some iconic goals for the Black Cats, including in both derbies and the Capital One Cup final.
But Poyet and Sunderland will continue to monitor the situation to see how things pan out this summer with Liverpool rumoured to be looking to bring in even more strike power.
Claims that the Black Cats were looking to sell Danny Graham and Nacho Scocco to fund a bid for Borini may have been overblown a little.
But there’s no doubt that Poyet would love to have the striker at Sunderland next season and the Black Cats will be first in the queue if he becomes available on loan again.
If he is offered for permanent sale then Sunderland will face competition from plenty of other clubs, both at home in the Premier League and abroad.
But Sunderland would hope to be a serious competitor for the Italian’s signature in any scenario this summer, should it emerge that his dreams have been thwarted and he is allowed to leave either temporarily or permanently.
H Former Sunderland manager Roy Keane has been linked with a possible managerial role at Aston Villa in the wake of turning down the prospect of becoming Celtic’s next boss.
Keane held provisional talks with the Scottish giants but was not offered the post and asked not to be considered for the position.
Rumours have now started to circulate that former Martin O’Neill protege, Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert, is ready to offer Keane a role as his assistant while allowing him to remain as the Republic of Ireland’s assistant manager to O’Neill.
Keane - who once vowed while Sunderland manager that he would never become a TV pundit - resigned his planned role as ITV World Cup pundit in order to concentrate full time on his coaching work.