FIFA are yet to decide on the future of Ricky Alvarez, despite speculation that the ex-Sunderland loanee could join Sampdoria.
Alvarez remains in limbo over his transfer situation - six months after Inter Milan lodged an arbitration case with FIFA over Sunderland's failure to sign the Argentine international.
There have been suggestions that Alvarez will undergo a medical at Sampdoria, ahead of penning a contract with the Serie A side in the January transfer window.
But the Echo understands that FIFA are yet to even hear Alvarez's case, let alone make a decision on it.
Until then, Alvarez will be unable to resume his career, despite interest from several clubs in the 26-year-old, including Velez Sarsfield and Porto.
Sunderland were duty-bound to sign Alvarez in an £8million deal last summer after his season-long loan at the Stadium of Light, but pulled out of the deal by claiming Inter breached the terms of the contract.
Alvarez started just five Premier League games during his injury-hit stint at Sunderland, before missing the final two months of the season with a knee problem.
Sunderland believe that Inter’s hesitation in approving surgery for that knee injury saw them breach the terms of the contract.
Inter are adamant that there was no escape clause for Sunderland after they avoided relegation and are confident their argument will be successful.