Poyet: Fabio Borini chose Champions League football over Sunderland

Gus Poyet believes that the Champions League prevented Fabio Borini’s move to Sunderland.

Borini spent the entirety of last season with the Black Cats, signing a year-long loan deal from Liverpool.

The 23-year-old played a vital role in the Wearside club’s miraculous survival in the Premier League, netting seven goals in 32 games, and head coach Gus Poyet was keen on signing the forward on a permanent deal over the summer. Liverpool agreed a reported £14 million bid from the Black Cats, but the youngster decided to stay at Anfield to stake his claim in Brendan Rodgers’ first-team set-up. He turned down the offer from Sunderland, as well as a later offer from QPR, to turn out in the Champions League, and his wish has been granted this term.

However, he is nothing more than a bit-part player on Merseyside, and the Italian has failed to even get into the Reds’ matchday squad for the last three games. With options looking increasingly limited at Anfield, it is said that he will be keen on leaving the club in the January window, but Poyet ruled out any potential deal for the forward last week, instead choosing to focus his attention upon other targets.

Having been frustrated by the troubles endured during his last attempt at signing the forward, Poyet has denied any further interest in Borini, and he admitted that it has been the ‘quality of football’ that turned his head over the summer.

“I know Fabio very well,” Poyet told the Sunderland Echo.

“QPR came into it at the last minute, but then he stayed at Liverpool and I saw him playing in the Champions League.

“So, in terms of minutes, he’s getting less than last year.

“But in terms of quality of football, it depends what you like because playing in the Champions League is unique.”

With Poyet’s continuing interest in the purchase of a new forward, it has been reported that Jozy Altidore could be leaving the Stadium of Light in January, whilst the club are still working hard on securing youngster Connor Wickham to a new contract.

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