Dick Advocaat has made it crystal clear that Santiago Vergini is NOT part of his plans at Sunderland.
Vergini is now formally a Sunderland player after the Black Cats were forced to activate the £2million permanent clause in the Argentine defender’s loan contract, after he made more than 20 Premier League appearances last season.
I’m sorry for Santi, but he has to go and find another clubDick Advocaat
However, that deal was put together by ex-head coach Gus Poyet, with Advocaat not sharing his predecessor’s sentiments on the 26-year-old.
Vergini is back training at the Academy of Light with the rest of the Sunderland first-team squad, but that is likely to be a short-term arrangement, with the Black Cats keen to move the Argentina international on this summer.
Sunderland have signed Sebastian Coates on a permanent basis, are targeting Belgian international Nicolas Lombaerts and are keen to develop academy product Tom Beadling.
That leaves no room for Vergini, with the Argentine international’s agent holding talks at the Academy of Light yesterday.
Advocaat told the Echo: “It’s a new season and I have to be straight and honest with people.
“I don’t want to go on with him, with all respect.
“The problem I have is Tom Beadling, who is a promising young player.
“He’s a member of the squad now, although I might have to loan him out.
“But I think he can do something.
“I’m sorry for Santi, but he has to go and find another club.”
Vergini is unlikely to be the only member of the Sunderland first-team squad who departs this summer.
Ex-France international Anthony Reveillere has left the club after his contract expired, while there has been speculation about Championship interest in Liam Bridcutt.
With Advocaat still keen to add a further three or four signings this summer, he expects some of those new arrivals to prompt players moving towards the exit door.
“It was the same with the right-back (Reveillere)” he added.
“Probably, players will realise if I buy someone for a certain position, they will ask if they can go.
“That’s the way it goes.”
Vergini was a virtual ever-present last season under Poyet after the Uruguayan had brought the defender back to Sunderland for a second loan spell.
But after he endured a miserable display in the Stadium of Light capitulation against Crystal Palace, Vergini was dropped by Advocaat and failed to appear in the final six games, with Coates shining in his place.
As reported earlier this week, Argentine side Newell’s Old Boys had been interested in him, but have now turned their attentions elsewhere.