CRISTIAN Riveros is on the verge of completing a season-long loan move to Turkish side Kayserispor.
The Paraguayan’s switch, expected to be completed by the end of the week, will herald the end of Steve Bruce’s flirtation with South American signings for the moment.
The Black Cats’ boss had hoped to exploit the South American market for bargain signings – something that had worked successfully during his time in charge of Wigan – but has been forced to accept that it has not reaped the same dividends at the Stadium of Light.
Riveros, fellow Paraguayan Paolo Da Silva and Argentinian Marcos Angeleri have failed to make any real impact at Sunderland.
And with Da Silva having joined Spanish side Real Zaragoza in January and Riveros set to move to Turkey as things stand, the way is now open for Angeleri to also end his stay at Sunderland, possibly with a return to his homeland.
Da Silva was the first of the three South Americans to join, coming in two seasons ago and enjoying mixed fortunes.
A class act as captain of his country, he struggled to cope with the physical demands of the Premier League.
Bruce gave him a second season in the hope the penny would drop, but with the centre-half showing little improvement, he was sold on in January.
Right-back Angeleri and midfielder Riveros arrived last summer and much was expected of the Paraguayan, in particular, after a successful World Cup.
The 28-year-old was seen as a playmaker who could get goals from midfield, but the speed and aggression of the Premier League just didn’t seem suited to his natural game and he proved anonymous in almost every appearance in the red and white shirt.
Bruce had hoped Riveros would be better for another season of European football – he scored in Sunderland’s last game of the season, the 3-0 win over West Ham and he might just prove Bruce’s theory right about South Americans being stronger in their second seasons.
But with the impending acquisition of Birmingham City midfielder Craig Gardner, Bruce is ready to free up a space in his squad and leave the goalscoring midfielder duties in the hands of soon-to-be-signed 24-year-old.