JUVENTUS midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini was today expected to be officially confirmed as Sunderland’s NINTH signing of the summer.
But unlike several of the new arrivals at the Stadium of Light – youngsters brought in with an eye on the future – Giaccherini is the real deal.
The 27-year-old arrives from Serie A champions as a current Italian international footballer in his prime.
And though Sunderland have paid more than £8m to secure his services – their biggest outlay of the summer – it is a coup for the Wearsiders to have been able to attract a player of his calibre.
Juve boss Antonio Conte admitted he would have preferred to have kept Giaccherini but was forced to sacrifice him in order to bring in new signings like Carlos Tevez.
The player’s arrival at Sunderland has been widely trailed over the last few days but was delayed after his wife gave birth to daughter Caterina last Thursday.
He linked up though with the Sunderland squad in their training camp in Peschiera del Garda at the weekend and yesterday completed his medical and signed a contract.
Giaccherini can play as a left-winger or attacking midfielder.
It was the latter role in which he was most used by Juventus last season.
But Paolo Di Canio might be tempted to play him on the flank at Sunderland, with Adam Johnson on the other.
The Black Cats’ head coach has said he wants his Sunderland side to be an attacking one with wingers playing key roles.