GUS POYET hopes Sunderland can finally agree a deal for Marcos Alonso, as the Black Cats wait to speak with fellow former loanee Fabio Borini.
Poyet confirmed after Saturday’s opening pre-season friendly against Darlington 1883 that Sunderland had agreed a fee with Liverpool for striker Borini, yet the £14million deal looks like dragging on, with the Italian flying to America yesterday for the Merseyside outfit’s pre-season tour.
But Borini is not the only member of last season’s squad who Poyet wants to re-sign, with the Uruguayan head coach looking for a resolution to the pursuit of Fiorentina defender Alonso.
Sunderland have submitted two bids to sign Alonso, which have involved incorporating defender Modibo Diakite in a part-exchange deal, and reports in Italy over the weekend suggested the Black Cats had made an improved third offer.
“It’s been an ongoing situation. It’s taking a bit longer than I expected,” said Poyet when asked about Alonso, who shone for Sunderland after arriving on loan in the January window.
“But you need to have everything in place.
“It doesn’t just depend on us, it depends on other people as well.
“You need to negotiate and that’s up to Lee (Congerton, sporting director) and the recruitment system doing their work.”
Borini’s involvement in Liverpool’s trip to the US raised fears among Sunderland fans yesterday that the deal could collapse after both Poyet and Reds boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed on Saturday that no personal terms had yet been agreed between the former Chelsea youngster and the Black Cats.
But the Echo understands that Liverpool were always planning to take Borini on their two-week tour, despite agreeing a £12m fee, rising to £14m, with Sunderland.
And there was NO substance to reports in Italy on Saturday night that Borini had rejected out of hand the chance to return to the Stadium of Light.
“What I can say is that we have agreed (a deal) with Liverpool, we are waiting for correspondence and then we move on from there,” said Poyet after the 5-1 weekend friendly win over Darlington.
“It’s clear the impact Fabio had last season.
“And we are going to spend that amount of money on a player that we know how much he can give us.
“He would be perfect for us.”
Neither has Poyet been panicking over the wait to add fresh faces to the squad after Sunderland recruited three Bosman signings at the start of the summer.
Poyet added: “As everybody knows, it is not about numbers, it’s not about quantity, it is about quality.
“Everybody knows where Costel Pantilimon has been and what he is going to bring. We saw Billy (Jones) and the energy he is going to give us, and Jordi (Gomez) has the quality to not only make us play but also score some goals.
“So there is a reason behind everything.
“It’s been quite a strange summer for me, with the World Cup in the middle and people buying players for so much money.
“We need to stay calm and make sure we do things slowly, but in our own way.”