Who is Mateo Bajamich? The Argentinian striker high on Sunderland's summer wanted list
Phil Parkinson has confirmed he is interested in Argentinian striker Mateo Bajamich – but what do we know about the in-demand youngster?
The Black Cats have identified the South American striker as a potential recruit as they look to strengthen their forward line, with Parkinson confirming he was one target under consideration following the Carabao Cup tie with Hull City.
And here’s everything we know about the striker who has cropped up on Sunderland’s radar:
Name: Mateo Bajamich
Current club: Instituto
Career Stats: 29 appearances / 10 goals
What has his career been like?
Given Bajamich’s young age, he only has two seasons of senior football under his belt – although both have been something of a success.
Currently playing in the Argentinian second tier, the forward has made 29 senior appearances and has scored 10 times. Nine of those goals came during the 2019/20 season.
While he remains relatively unproven, his performances both on and off the ball in the 2019/20 season brought him to the attention of a number of clubs.Known for his pace and clinical finishing, Bajamich is understood to be on the radar of several other clubs – including MLS outfit Houston Dynamo.
What do we know about the proposed bid made by Sunderland?
Reports have suggested that the Black Cats have launched a bid in the region of £500,000 for the striker, with that figure set to rise with add-ons and sell-on clauses.
Houston Dynamo are also understood to have made a bid for the forward, with a similar initial fee.
What has Phil Parkinson said about a move?
When quizzed on Bajamich, the Sunderland boss confirmed he was a player that the club had ‘looked at’.
"Like I said when we signed Arbenit, we have to spread our net wide to add the quality we need into the squad,” Parkinson said.
"He's a player we've obviously looked at and along with a number of targets, we'd like to add another couple into the group sooner rather than later.”
How likely is a deal to happen?
At this moment in time, it seems a deal is far from a certainty – with numerous hurdles still to overcome.
There is the obvious element of competition given that an MLS side are also in contention for his signature, and it remains unclear which move Bajamich himself would prefer.
But in terms of the salary cap, the striker would pose no complications. Given that he was aged under-21 on January 1, he would not count towards the salary cap or squad cap for the 2020/21 season.
Similarly, there should be few issues with obtaining a work permit given that the striker attained Croatian citizenship earlier this year. His great-grandfather was originally from Croatia before moving to South America.
And there are also other players under consideration by Sunderland – most notably Danny Graham.