SUNDERLAND striker Nacho Scocco has dropped strong hints he favours a return to South America after failing to cut it in the Premier League.
The 29-year-old Argentinian endured an unsatisfying few months in English football after Black Cats’ boss Gus Poyet signed him in the January transfer window for £3million.
Speaking to reporters in Argentina, Scocco already appeared to be planning for a return home and talked of the club closest to his heart – Newell’s Old Boys, the club he scored 24 goals for in 32 appearances in the 2012-13 campaign.
And it appears that the forward sees the only barrier to a swift return being the amount of money Sunderland paid out for him and which would be beyond clubs in his homeland.
“If you ask me, I’ll obviously tell you that I want to play for Newell’s,” he is quoted as saying.
“Newell’s will always be first in my priorities, but this time I can’t move a finger to helps Newell’s in a possible negotiation.
“I can only give my opinion if you ask me where I want to go.
“There are things that bother me, for example when I walk through the streets of Rosario and people come to me and say ‘remember you said that in Argentina you will only play for Newell’s?’.
“What I am saying is that provided there is a possibility to go to Newell’s, then they will have priority, but if there are no possibilities, obviously I will have to look for second choices.”
Scocco’s comments will not impress Poyet, who has spoken previously of his belief that a good pre-season will see the best of a forward he rates highly.
But the striker seems intent on wangling a return home after a spell at Sunderland which saw him feature only eight times for the club – six times in the Premier League and twice in the FA Cup – without managing to score.
He added: “People ask me what I’m going to do and I don’t know to answer them.
“What people should know is that it does not depend on me.
“Sunderland paid money, but to me does not serve me to play there because I don’t have continuity and it doesn’t serve the club because you have a player who does not play and is not comfortable.
“We are still awaiting a response from the management of Sunderland, so I’ll have to be patient.
“There are possible deals in Argentina and elsewhere, but I am calm, I have a contract there and can do pre-season.
“We must see what Sunderland ask for me and then see if Newell’s can afford it – I don’t want to put pressure on the club to pay money that it does not have.”
Poyet may now decide to cut his losses, get rid of Scocco and go in search of a fresher, keener, more effective striker.
– GRAEME ANDERSON