CHARIS MAVRIAS will have a second chance to make the grade at Sunderland next season.
Mavrias made just four Premier League appearances in his maiden campaign on Wearside after arriving in a £2million deal from Greek side Panathinaikos last summer.
But unlike some of the other members of ex-director of football Roberto De Fanti’s recruitment drive from last summer who have barely figured – Cabral, Modibo Diakite, Valentin Roberge and David Moberg Karlsson – Sunderland are not looking to move Mavrias on.
Mavrias has told friends that he is hopeful of playing a bigger part for Sunderland next time around too after failing to appear for the first-team since January’s FA Cup win over Kidderminster, when he grabbed the winning goal.
The 20-year-old does realise though that it may be necessary for him to join a Championship club on loan to play regular first-team football after a handful of clubs were interested during the January transfer window.
There has been talk in Greece that PAOK want to take Mavrias back to his homeland, but it is understood that the winger would have no interest in such a move.
The only Greek club that Mavrias would consider joining would be his former employers Panathinaikos, but that would be financially out of the question and is not something that appeals at this stage.
With another two years still to run on his Sunderland contract, Mavrias is hopeful of realising his potential on Wearside.
Sunderland team-mate Nacho Scocco has also been linked with a move to Greece, with Olympiakos interested in the Argentine forward.
Scocco, who spent three years in Greece with AEK Athens, endured an underwhelming four months at the Stadium of Light after arriving in a £4million move from Brazilian outfit Internacional in January.
But the Echo understands that Scocco has no interest in a move to Olympiakos and wants to fight for his place on Wearside.
There has also been interest in Scocco from Argentine pair Boca Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys, despite the 29-year-old’s recent arrival in the Premier League from South America.
Poyet is keen to see how Scocco responds to a full pre-season, though, after arriving at Sunderland in the middle of the Brazilian close season.
But Poyet accepts that Scocco was way below par following his arrival, after the head coach had originally envisaged that the 29-year-old would add extra quality to Sunderland’s survival challenge.