SUNDERLAND will enter the final hours of the transfer window still harbouring hopes of re-signing Fabio Borini, admits Gus Poyet.
The Black Cats have spent the entire summer chasing Liverpool frontman Borini; first in a £14million permanent move and then a second season-long loan for the Italian.
But Borini has remained at Anfield, with Sunderland’s confidence of landing the 23-year-old draining away and the Wearsiders now on the verge of signing Inter Milan’s attacking midfielder Ricky Alvarez on loan.
Poyet ideally wants to land both Borini and Alvarez though and, ahead of tonight’s 11pm transfer deadline, he hasn’t given up hope of finally sealing a deal for his main summer target.
He said: “Yes (I still want him). I know Fabio and I’m a big believer that when you know the players, you know what you are going to get.
“You are convinced that he’s the right player with the right mentality.
“I know how people think, but unfortunately we cannot give the true information over why he’s not with us.
“From the outside, it looks like he doesn’t want to come to Sunderland.
“But I can promise you it’s not like that.
“I keep it open because he’s still a Liverpool player and then maybe he can be a Sunderland player.”
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who again left Borini out of the squad for yesterday’s 3-0 win at Tottenham, made the ex-Swansea loanee’s situation crystal-clear over the weekend.
While Rodgers will use Borini as a squad player if he stays at Anfield, he believes his best move would be to leave the club before the window shuts.
Rodgers said: “For him, it’s best to move on and get playing regularly. But that’s something he has to decide.”
In response to those comments, Poyet said: “I think Brendan was clear that they’ve talked to him and made the situation clear to him.
“I don’t know whether the situation is better for us? I hope. We’ll see.”
Poyet admits though that it will be a tense start to the two-week international break, with Sunderland looking for two or three further additions to their squad on deadline day.
“Normally in an international break, as a manager you can relax a little bit,” he added.
“But you are at the training ground, waiting and when the phone rings, it’s a problem.
“You don’t want any offers for your players, but, at the same time, you want to get a few.
“It’s like a game, but a very important game for a manager because it depends on the players you get and how you do for the next four months until January.”