Fabio Borini has cryptically claimed that he had no control over Sunderland’s failed bid to sign him 12 months ago.
Borini’s return to the Stadium of Light was completed with lightning speed after Liverpool accepted Sunderland’s £7.75million bid on Sunday, before the Italian international penned a four-year contract with the Black Cats.
As people have read, there were a lot of clubs interested in me, but I’m here at Sunderland because I want to be hereFabio Borini
But Sunderland’s pursuit of Borini stretches back 13 months, with a £14m move last summer falling through after the 24-year-old opted to remain at Anfield and fight for his place at Liverpool.
Borini told Sunderland that he wanted to play Champions League football at Liverpool, rather than return to the Stadium of Light, where he was crowned the Young Player of the Season during his loan stint in 2013-14.
Yet Borini is understood to have subsequently changed his agent and he has hinted that was the reason why his move fell through last summer and why he has now finally returned to Sunderland, despite interest from Inter Milan, Fiorentina and West Ham.
“It’s the perfect time to come back,” he told the club website.
“In the past, people have written a lot, but it was a situation out of my control.
“I wasn’t in a position to make any decision, but here I am.
“As people have read, there were a lot of clubs interested in me, but I’m here at Sunderland because I want to be here.
“Also my wife is very happy to be here. She was probably the most happy person that I came back!
“It’s good to have a person here like Erin to be supporting me in this.
“I’m here to stay here and play for Sunderland, because I’m proud to wear the shirt.
“This club is the biggest one up north and hopefully we can have a successful season, because we all want that.”
Borini joined Sunderland on a season-long loan on the summer transfer deadline day of 2013 after his first year at Liverpool had been wracked by injury problems.
After forcing his way into the starting XI under Gus Poyet, he proved to be a key figure in Sunderland’s escape from relegation and march to the Capital One Cup final, where he opened the scoring at Wembley.
“It’s a place that I called home and I tweeted good things about Sunderland during my time year,” he added.
“I said a piece of my heart was always here when I scored at Wembley.
“I’ve come back here to get that piece.
“It was great because I came here after a season of injuries and we had a successful season - we stayed up, went to Wembley for the first time in a long time and I scored important goals.
“I’m very happy to come back.”