Boost for Black Cats as £6.5m star 'won't leave Sunderland'

Emanuele Giaccherini’s agent has confirmed Italian interest, but insists his client won’t leave Sunderland.

The diminutive midfielder moved to the Stadium of Light in July from Serie A champions Juventus to the tune of £6.5m, in search of increased playing time.

On Wearside the 28-year-old has become a valued contributor – making 15 Premier League starts to date – though continues to be linked with a return to his homeland.

Parma and Genoa have reportedly been keen to bring the former Bianconeri man back to the peninsula, looking to build on good fortunes that see them within striking distance of Europa League qualification.

And representative Fulvio Valcareggi has now verified claims that the pair have made approaches for Giaccherini’s services.

Though the Italy international – also admittedly an object of desire for Marcelo Lippi’s Guangzhou Evergrande – won’t be exiting Wearside this January per his agent.

“Emanuele is not leaving Sunderland,” Valcareggi said to Radio Kiss Kiss.

“Lippi wants to bring him to China, but he won’t leave England.

“Parma really like Giaccherini; [director of sport Pietro] Leonardi contacted me because [Jonathan] Biabiany could be leaving Emilia.

“He has an important contract with the English club which we would like to respect, regardless of numerous offers.

“Genoa also made an enquiry, but I’ll reiterate that the player will remain in the Premier League.”

Sunderland just reached the final of the League Cup with a dramatic penalty shoot-out triumph over Manchester United, but remain in the throes of a relegation battle.

Giaccherini’s willingness to stay comes as a boost to the Black Cats, who will need all the help they can get to stay up whilst coming away with morale-boosting silverware.

West Ham cult hero Alessandro Diamanti was on the verge of joining Lippi’s Guanghzhou side himself before the move fell through and it now seems Giaccherini was viewed as an alternative.

Yet it’s Biabiany who now looks most likely to cross the divide to China – the Sunderland man having escaped the domino effect of Lippi’s transfer dealings due to his apparent wish to stay with his current club.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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