Ricky Alvarez’s future remains a source of speculation after reports that Porto are closing in on a move for the Argentine international.
FIFA confirmed last week that they were continuing to investigate the dispute between Sunderland and Inter Milan over Alvarez’s failed transfer last summer, and there was no timescale on when they would come to a final decision.
Alvarez had appealed to FIFA to be made a free agent so he could return to his homeland and join San Lorenzo, but that proposal was blocked.
However, there were suggestions that Alvarez could still be allowed to join another European club and there have been strong indications from Argentina that the 27-year-old is on the verge of joining Portuguese outfit Porto.
Even if Alvarez is given the go-ahead to make that switch though, it will not signal the end of the dispute between Sunderland and Inter.
Sunderland were duty-bound to sign Alvarez on a permanent deal last summer after his injury-hit season long loan at the Stadium of Light.
But the Black Cats argued that Inter had breached the terms of the contract by dallying over their approval for Alvarez to undergo knee surgery.
Inter believe Sunderland still have to go ahead with the £8million permanent deal and instructed FIFA to act as arbitrators.