Sunderland manager Gus Poyet may ultimately see his long-running pursuit of Liverpool striker Fabio Borini come up short, but the Uruguayan has at least managed to make another significant signing in the meantime.
According to reports in Italy, the Black Cats have signed Inter Milan playmaker Ricky Alvarez on a €1 million season-long loan, with the deal becoming an €11 million permanent switch should the club avoid relegation.
Originally joining Inter from Velez Sarsfield in July 2011 for €12.8 million, the 26-year-old made 30 total appearances for the Italian side last season, scoring four goals and assisting eight in the process.
Having earned seven international caps for Argentina since his 2011 debut, he was also a part of Alejandro Sabella’s World Cup squad this summer, with his lone appearance during the side’s run to the final coming as a substitute in the final half-hour of the third group game against Nigeria.
Set to earn wages of around €1.6 million over the course of the season, sealing Alvarez’s signature could be considered somewhat of a coup for Sunderland, bearing in mind he was linked to the likes of Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund earlier this summer, when reports first emerged of a potential exit.
Still well-regarded around Europe, despite a somewhat disappointing 2013-14 campaign, the creative midfielder will become the club’s seventh summer signing once the deal is officially announced, following the arrivals of Billy Jones, Jordi Gomez, Costel Pantillimon, Patrick van Aanholt, Jack Rodwell and, most recently, Will Buckley.
Poyet remains hopeful of further bolstering his squad before the close of the transfer window, however, and, as well as Borini, Danny Welbeck, Salomon Kalou and Micah Richards have all been tipped as potential targets.