RELEASED Sunderland keeper Oscar Ustari is today poised to sign an 18-month deal at Argentine outfit Newell’s Old Boys – the club who are bidding to sign compatriot Nacho Scocco.
Ustari left the Stadium of Light at the end of last season following the conclusion of his short-term contract on Wearside, after joining as cover for Vito Mannone in the January transfer window.
The 28-year-old’s eagerness to play regular first-team football scuppered any prospect of Ustari remaining at Sunderland, with the Black Cats subsequently landing Romanian international Costel Pantilimon on a Bosman from Manchester City.
But there has been plenty of interest in Ustari, who was linked with a move to Southampton, and he has now agreed a return to his homeland with Rosario-based Newell’s – a switch which is expected to be finalised today.
“Oscar is eager to play for Newell’s. He got very excited when the offer was made,” said Ustari’s agent, Claudio Curti.
“To go to a club with so much history and with so many important figures is a big challenge.
“He decided to go to Sunderland in January because (Gus) Poyet wanted him.
“His first game was on the bench at Manchester United (the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg) but from then on was mostly used in the cup.”
Ustari had three starts for Sunderland, keeping FA Cup clean sheets against Kidderminster and Southampton before conceding three as the Black Cats exited the competition at Hull in the quarter-finals.
Ustari will replace Nahuel Guzman for Newell’s after a deal was agreed to sell the keeper to Mexican outfit Tigres for around £1.5million.
Newell’s will hope to use some of those funds in a bid to reunite Ustari with Sunderland forward Scocco.
As the Echo reported over the weekend, Scocco’s agent has arrived on Wearside for talks over the 29-year-old’s future and has come armed with an offer from Newell’s.
It is understood that Newell’s are willing to do everything possible to re-sign Scocco, who netted 24 goals in 33 appearances during a loan spell at the club two years ago.
The sticking point is the fee, with Sunderland looking to recoup the £4million they paid to bring Scocco from Brazilian outfit Internacional in the January window.
Meanwhile, former Sunderland defender Andrea Dossena has been linked with a move to Serie A outfit Parma.
Left-back Dossena left Sunderland before the end of last season after the Black Cats opted to pay up the remainder of the 32-year-old’s one-year deal at the Stadium of Light.
Reports in Italy suggest Parma could be ready to hand the ex-Liverpool defender a Bosman move.