GUS Poyet accepts that January transfer window flop Nacho Scocco looks to be heading out of the exit door at Sunderland.
Both Newell’s Old Boys and River Plate are interested in taking the Argentine attacker back to South America after the player indicated that he preferred a move back across the Atlantic.
Newell’s have already offered £2.3m for a player Poyet paid £3.2m for and Sunderland were poised to do the deal, only for River Plate to come in and offer the prospect of a bigger transfer fee.
The Black Cats’ head coach had hoped when he signed the South American striker at the turn of the year that the 29-year-old would provided the sort of creative quality that an in-form Stephane Sessegnon used to provide in a Sunderland shirt.
Ideally, Poyet’s preference would be for Scocco to have a successful season ahead at the Stadium of Light and prove his original judgement correct.
But the head coach knows that Scocco favours a move and that there are options out there.
“My first idea, and I knew it would be difficult, was to use Nacho last season to help us get out of the problems we were in,” he recalled.
“It was always going to be difficult for a player who had played in Argentina and Brazil over the last year to come to the English Premier League
“We were in a fight and he’s not that type of player - he needed us to be controlling games in order for him to do his bit.
“The type of player he is, we were not playing to his strengths - he needs to be in a team that is on top in games
“So my idea then was to take the close season to improve the team and to improve Nacho in terms of him being used to the environment over here and the football itself.
“But there are options now and everything is being analysed, we will see what happens over the next few days.”
* Meanwhile Sunderland may struggle to land primary summer target Fabio Borini, with the young Italian keen to give himself a chance to play at the highest level.
The 23-year-old striker spent all last season on loan at Sunderland and the Black Cats have offered Liverpool a whopping £14m to make the deal permanent.
Unsurprisingly, Reds’ boss Brendan Rodgers is ready to let Borini go for that sum but the player himself reportedly wants to give himself the best chance to keep playing at the highest level.
Although he could have Sunderland to discuss personal terms - the only issue now to be resolved prior to a move - he has opted to stick to the original plan of travelling with Liverpool on their pre-season tour.
His agent, Marco De Marchi, said Borini was unworried about the intense competition for places up front with summer recruit Rickie Lambert joining Daniel Sturridge at Anfield and former Newcastle United striker Loic Remy being lined up to join them.
De Marchi points out that Borini faced massive competition at previous club AS Roma and was unfazed by it.
And as far as the Italians are concerned, Borini will look to fight for his place at a club which will taste Champions League football again next season.
“After the loan, Liverpool did not tell me anything,” De Marchi said.
“He will remain at Liverpool for me - he is convinced to gamble.
“In Rome there were Totti, Osvaldo, Lamela, and Bojan; he has no fear of playing with anyone, “For me he can be part of any staff at a top club.”