Sunderland transfer round-up: Defender finally arrives while Mannone brushes off United interest

Santiago Vergini completes move to Stadium of Light, Ignacio Scocco move seems unlikely plus Danny Graham targeted by Championship clubs.

Sunderland finally completed the long-mooted transfer of Santiago Vergini on a loan deal until the end of the season, according to the club’s official site.

The Argentine centre-back will provide a useful alternative to veteran duo John O’Shea and Wes Brown and at 25 could well join on a permanent basis if the Black Cats win their battle for Premier League survival.

Vergini was on loan at Argentina’s Estudiantes from Uruguayan club Atletico Fenix, although he has never played for his parent club.

The defender made one appearance for Argentina in 2012 and has represented Olimpia in Paraguay, Verona in Italy and Argentine giants Newell’s Old Boys in a journeyman career to date.

Vergini will wear the No 27 shirt at the Stadium of Light and could even be thrust into first-team action in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Old Trafford tomorrow night.

Vito Mannone has rejected talk of a move to Manchester United, according to the Shields Gazette.

The Italian had been linked in his home country with a move to David Moyes’ team to act as understudy to David de Gea but he is clearly not keen on becoming a back-up goalkeeper again.

Mannone said: “I don’t really care about this stuff. It happens outside of the football pitch.

“My concentration is on the pitch and on last weekend’s game. Now we’ve got a massive game on Wednesday.

“I’m having the best time of my career at Sunderland and I don’t see why I would move right now.

“I want to stay first-choice and build on my performances to improve.”

The 25-year-old endured a frustrating eight-year spell at Arsenal, only making 23 senior appearances and being sent out on loan to Barnsley and Hull City.

He joined Sunderland in the summer and has so far made 17 appearances and his goalkeeping rival Keiren Westwood is currently out injured, strengthening his position further.

Elsewhere, Cardiff City look likely to beat Sunderland to the signing of Ignacio Scocco, according to the Sunderland Echo.

The Argentine, who netted 30 goals in 46 appearances for Newell’s Old Boys last season, is keen to leave Brazilian club Internacional for the Premier League.

The forward would command a fee of around £5million as well as a considerable wage package and it appears Gus Poyet’s interest has cooled.

Poyet is, however, hoping to land his former Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt, who is angling to leave the South East club and link up with his former boss, according to the Sunderland Echo.

Bridcutt was left out of the Brighton squad for their match with Derby County on Saturday, and their manager Oscar Garcia said the 24-year-old  would not have been focused on the game.

The midfielder already handed in a transfer request after Poyet had failed with a £2million bid.

Finally, flop striker Danny Graham could be sent on loan to a Championship side.

Graham, who is already on loan at Hull City from Sunderland, will now struggle to get a game at the KC with the arrivals of Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long.

Therefore the Tigers are happy to send him back to Sunderland, who could in turn loan him out again.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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