Alvarez spent last season on loan at the Stadium of Light from Internazionale, but the Black Cats are reluctant to honour a purchase clause that was included in the deal.
As stated by the Sunderland Echo, the Black Cats would be forced to buy Alvarez in a £7.5 million deal if they remained in the Premier League, and as their survival was secured, a deal should have been completed by now.
However, the Wearside club are unwilling to see the deal through, as they believe Inter breached the loan agreement having been against the approval of knee surgery that Alvarez required last term.
This lack of confirmation about Alvarez’s future has left him in limbo, and the case has been taken to FIFA to be sorted out ahead of the new season.
However, there is one club who could provide an escape route for both clubs, with the same Echo report claiming that Roma want to sign the 27-year-old this summer.
The Serie A side are already making formal advances to Inter to sign the winger, in a move which would suit all parties. Sunderland would not have to pay for Alvarez, Inter would sell him - which is what they want - and Roma would be signing a player they are keen on.
The case may still have to go to FIFA to ensure that neither club are in the wrong, but it appears as if Sunderland have been gifted a legal escape route thanks to Roma’s interest in Alvarez.