SANTIAGO VERGINI is expected to become Sunderland’s second signing in 24 hours today.
Argentine defender Vergini was at the Academy of Light yesterday to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms and is now on the verge of re-signing for Sunderland on a season-long loan after spending the second half of last season at the Stadium of Light.
The deal is due to be announced today, although there is the potential for a delay in finalising the paperwork from South America.
But Vergini’s move is effectively over the line and he will become Sunderland’s sixth signing of the summer after the Black Cats have been patient in bringing the 26-year-old back to the Stadium of Light.
Both Sunderland boss Gus Poyet and the player himself expected last season’s loan move to be converted into a straightforward permanent deal.
But there have been problems with Vergini’s ownership - which is split between Uruguayan outfit Atletico Fenix and Argentine side Estudiantes - and Sunderland have ultimately opted to bring him back on loan.
Vergini, along with £10million new boy Jack Rodwell, represent two of the four signings that Poyet had hoped to have on board by today.
But the capture of the versatile Vergini, who impressed at right-back during the relegation run-in, will be a boost for Poyet.
“We know Santi well and he was always one of the first choices,” said Poyet last week.
Meanwhile, Sunderland midfielder El-Hadji Ba is on the verge of joining French Ligue One side Bastia on a season-long loan.
Ba, who joined from Le Havre 12 months ago, has impressed during pre-season after making his Premier League debut on the final day of last season against Swansea.
But Sunderland are keen for Ba to get more regular first-team football and Bastia yesterday confirmed they were close to signing the 21-year-old on loan, with a view to a permanent deal.