SUNDERLAND loan signing Santiago Vergini is expected to sign permanently if the club avoids relegation from the Premier League this season.
And manager Gus Poyet is happy to accept that challenge – feeling that having Vergini on board for the rest of the campaign will be a big help in achieving that goal.
The Argentine centre-half yesterday became Poyet’s second signing of the January transfer window, joining fellow loanee Marcos Alonso as a new recruit.
And with international clearance being processed, he is expected to be available for selection very soon – possibly for tomorrow night’s game against Manchester United and certainly by the weekend when Kidderminster Harriers come to the Stadium of Light for their FA Cup fourth round tie.
Poyet is yet to speak publicly about the signing but will be delighted to bring in a player who was one of his major targets of the transfer window.
The Black Cats head coach has been tracking the 25-year-old for some time.
He was impressed with his performances for Newell’s Old Boys last season on their way to the Argentine league title.
Negotiating a deal for a player who was on loan with Argentinian club Estudiantes from his Uruguayan parent club Atletico Fenix, has not been straight-forward.
But Poyet believes Vergini was worth the effort and is happy to have in on loan for the rest of the season a player he rates very highly.
The Sunderland boss has admitted it is hard to bring in players who fear the club might be playing Championship football next season.
But he will be confident of persuading Vergini to move permanently to the Stadium of Light if the Black Cats are in the Premier League next season.
Poyet believes the future will be bright for Sunderland next season if they can avoid the drop in the current one.
And the work he is doing in the January transfer window is very much aimed at ensuring Sunderland survive this season, rather than plan with one eye on the Championship.