GUS POYET says prospective signing Santiago Vergini’s determination to join Sunderland has been crucial towards progressing his transfer.
The Sunderland head coach has confirmed that centre-half Vergini is close to finalising his switch to the Stadium of Light, with the defender thought to have flown to England from Argentina yesterday.
Sunderland agreed a deal last week with Argentine club Estudiantes, but the move has rumbled on for several days and has been thrown into doubt over settling the 25-year-old’s contract with his current employers.
But with Vergini now on the verge of becoming Sunderland’s second January arrival – a move which could see fellow centre-half Modibo Diakite leave the Stadium of Light after he was linked with a loan switch to Genoa yesterday – Poyet has praised the character of his potential new signing.
Poyet told the Echo: “If it goes through, we have to give plenty of credit to the player because he wants this badly.
“That gives you a big hope as a manager.
“We’re getting closer.
“It’s not been easy, we’ve been going forwards and backwards. One day it’s looked ‘yes’ and the next it’s looked ‘no’.
“With such extremes, it’s been difficult. But now I’m hopeful.”
Vergini is one of several Argentine players linked with a move to the Stadium of Light – the most prominent of which has been Internacional forward Nacho Scocco, although Poyet played down a move for the 28-year-old yesterday.
Poyet says he is just as open to signing British players as overseas ones after seeing a double bid rejected for Brighton pair Liam Bridcutt and Will Buckley.
But if Poyet is to bring in further South American recruits, he says it is important that they have had previous experience of playing outside the Continent.
Poyet said: “I think when you bring in too many from abroad and you are expecting all of them to adapt to the football and the country quickly, you are making a big mistake. It won’t happen.
“We are looking everywhere. England is part of everywhere and I think the possibility of bringing in a player that is English or British and a foreigner, is exactly the same.
“We try to make sure that we bring in players that have already played in England first, if it is a foreigner.
“If not, we look at someone who has already been away from home and experienced different languages.
“That’s not always possible, but we’re doing well.”
As for a time-scale for further recruits, Poyet is keeping relaxed over the situation.
He added: “We are at a stage right now where anything can happen at any time. It could be any minute.
“I’m calm, whereas other people might be tense.
“Something might not happen for another 10 days, but there is movement and I think clubs and players are starting to move now.
“Sixteen days have gone past (of the window) and there have not been many things and now they are thinking, there are only 15 days to go and it has been crazy over the last few days.