THE future of Sunderland midfielder Cabral is in the balance with head coach Gus Poyet admitting he has a decision to make over what happens to the player next.
Poyet chose not to use the former Basel midfielder in Sunderland’s FA Cup third round game against Carlisle United on Sunday, even though the 25-year-old was available to play.
That suggests Sunderland did not want to risk injury to the Cape Verde international at a time when they could potentially be negotiating his sale.
Cabral has not played a competitive game for Sunderland since August, and reports originating in Italy claim that Serie A side Genoa want to sign him on loan this month with a view to a permanent deal.
Poyet is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to transfer moves but he told the Echo: “We are having a few chats with Cabral, and we will see what the future brings.
“He was either going to play for 90 minutes against Carlisle or not – I didn’t think it was a good option for him to be on the bench - but we have a decision to make.”
Cabral joined Sunderland last summer on a Bosman free transfer from Swiss side Basel, where he played in both the Champions League and the Europa League.
The Black Cats’ recruitment team envisaged him as the midfield powerhouse capable of getting goals and allowed squad midfielder Alfred N’Diaye to move to Turkish outfit Eskisehirspor on the basis of that belief.
He impressed in the pre-season Barclays Asia Trophy during the summer, and made his Premier League debut against Fulham on the opening day of the season.
But despite doing well in that game, in the view of many, that remains his only league appearance for the Black Cats.
His only other appearance saw him play in the 4-2 Capital One Cup second round win against MK Dons at the end of August, where he played poorly.
He has been an unused sub on several occasions since then but it has been clear that he has not impressed Paolo Di Canio, caretaker boss Kevin Ball or Gus Poyet so far this season.