SUNDERLAND are prepared to play the waiting game for Argentine defender Lucas Orban as they seek to land one of their main summer targets.
The young left-back wants to see out the season in South America before deciding his future.
And Sunderland, who have already made their interest known in the 24-year-old, have decided to show patience rather than exploring other options they have lined up.
Orban wants to see out Atletico Tigre’s Clausura campaign – the mid-table club have one more match, at home to sixth-placed Quilmes tomorrow – before making his move and the Black Cats have accepted that.
But regardless of what else happens, the young defender seems certain to be on his way out of his Argentinian club this summer, with his agent revealing that there has been plenty of interest from clubs other than Sunderland.
Orban’s representative Filippo Colasanto, mentioned contact from Italy and Spain and added: “There was an offer from Sunderland who moved in a concrete and timely way – making an offer to the player’s family.
“We talked about it, but the boy preferred to take time at the moment and maybe finish the championship in Argentina and then choose with confidence.”
Orban helped Tigre to the final of the Copa Sudamerica – South America’s version of the Europa League – back in December, playing the full match in both legs as they went down 2-0 to Brazilian club Sao Paulo on aggregate.
That feat clinched a place in next term’s Copa Libertadores – the continent’s equivalent of the Champions League – but Orban still looks likely to move on.
Sunderland have looked at several options at left-back so far this summer. Interestingly though, they have yet to pursue their interest in Spurs’ England Under-21 full-back Danny Rose and it appears that Orban is their preferred choice to fill the left-back role next season.
The player’s agent will offer Orban his options shortly, but feels that the full-back would prosper most in the Premier League.
Colasanto said: “Orban is a defender, first of all.
“And then the guy is very strong and perfect for the English league.
“In Italy, for example, things could become harder as the championship there is more tactical.
“There are several opportunities in Spain, so the choice is between these two countries.
“He is physically very strong and he would be perfect for the Premier League.”