GUS POYET insists he is “still confident” Sunderland will finalise a deal for Liverpool striker Fabio Borini.
It is almost three weeks since Liverpool accepted a £14million bid for former Sunderland loanee Borini, yet the Black Cats’ pursuit of the Italian still shows few signs of reaching a conclusion.
Sunderland have opted to persist in the hunt for Borini, rather than drawing a line under the chase, with the 23-year-old still at the top of the club’s summer wish-list.
And after tonight’s pre-season friendly victory over Real Betis, Poyet stressed that he remains optimistic that Sunderland can sign the frontman.
Poyet said: “We’re still waiting. There’s no more than last week, no more than next week.
“We’re waiting, but it’s still ongoing.
“I don’t think the word is ‘frustrating’ because we knew after he travelled (to the USA for Liverpool’s pre-season tour) and the (shoulder) injury that it would take a bit longer.
“We’ll keep working because we know him very well.
“It’s very difficult sometimes to spend that kind of money on a player you don’t know and you don’t know what you’re going to get or the character.
“If it’s a foreigner, he might not adapt quickly etc.
“Fabio ticks all the boxes because we know what we’re going to get and how important it is for us and the fans as well.
“I’m still confident it will happen.
“For sure, things are not worse.
“We are in a very good position... waiting.
“It’s that last step, that little thing that is going to close it.
“Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it takes a bit longer.”
Sunderland have been linked with Chelsea forward Victor Moses as a possible alternative to Borini, if the move falls through.
But while Poyet admits he has considered other targets, Borini remains his number one choice.
“The longer it goes, you of course have to start looking for other options because that’s my job,” he added.
“But every time you make a step forwards, you stop because you want Fabio. We’ll see.”