River Plate target swoop for Sunderland’s Scocco

Sunderland's Nacho Scocco.
Sunderland's Nacho Scocco.
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SOUTH American giants River Plate are looking to make an offer for Sunderland striker Nacho Scocco.

Argentina’s most successful side has joined a queue of clubs from the country interested in taking the 28-year-old back across the Atlantic.

And River are one of the few clubs in South American who can hope to match the wages the striker is on in England and make an acceptable transfer offer too.

Scocco only joined the Black Cats in January when he became a £3m buy from Brazilian outfit Internacional and his time in England has been far from auspicious so far.

The forward looked decidedly off the pace in his opening few months at the Stadium of Light, having joined in South America’s close season, and he failed to score in any of his eight appearances.

And that failure to have an immediate impact has alerted clubs in Argentina who are queuing up in case Sunderland are thinking of offloading him.

River are the latest club to place Scocco on their list of targets according to reports from Buenos Aires with Boca Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys also linked with him.

Sunderland however remain in the driving seat with Scocco having signed a two-and-a-half year in January.

As well as Sunderland’s desire to keep him, the frontman is also keen to make a success of his stay in the Premier League.

And head coach Gus Poyet’s belief is that Sunderland will not see what he is really capable of until he begins a season on level fitness terms with his team-mates.

Poyet told the Echo shortly before the end of the season: “We are all different, and how we adapt is different.

“It depends on the situation they come into. If you put them into a team that is playing well, it takes them two seconds to adapt.

“But when a player comes from abroad, and they join a side that is having a bad time, then it takes a lot longer.

“I had hoped Scocco would adapt more quickly but I’m really looking forward to seeing him in pre-season.

“I don’t think we can really judge him until then and when he has a full pre-season behind him we might really see the best of him.”

Poyet will know now though, that if he changes his mind and decides to cut his losses on the striker, he will have no shortage of clubs willing to make a bid for a player whose reputation still remains high in Argentina.

The Uruguayan currently has four strikers to pick from for next season - Scocco, Scottish international Steven Fletcher, who should be fit for the start of next season, American international Jozy Altidore and England Under 21 man Connor Wickham.

Danny Graham is also on the club’s books but the Teessider is set for another season on loan if Sunderland cannot offload him permanently.

Of the quartet of frontman available, Wickham is the only one who is seen as untouchable by Sunderland, who are already preparing a new and improved deal for the a player who is about to move into the last year of his contract with the Wearsiders.