SUNDERLAND’S new Italian left-back Andrea Dossena was so keen to move to the club that he agreed a 50 per cent cut in wages until such time as he is fit and available for selection again.
The Black Cats’ 14th and last signing of the transfer window, has a thigh injury which scuppered an earlier move to Torino this summer but which is not expected to sideline him for long.
And as a sign of good faith, the ex-Liverpool defender – surplus to requirements at Rafa Benitez’s Napoli – agreed to slash his wages until he is fit again.
The injury means that Sunderland will continue to struggle for left-back cover for Jack Colback during Dossena’s absence, although another new signing, right-back Ondrej Celustka can play there if required.
But Dossena’s representatives were keen to point out that Sunderland should be waiting only a matter of weeks before the Italian is ready to go again.
Dossena’s agent Roberto La Florio revealed: “In good faith during the Torino medical Andrea said that he felt pain and the club doctors looked deeper, finding a one centimetre lesion in the quadricep.
“At that point they took a step back, because he wouldn’t be ready for three to four weeks and Torino needed someone straight away.
“We found the Sunderland option, had a meeting and they said the lesion will take four to five weeks to recover from, so they decided to sign him anyway.”
Having agreed the move back to the Premier League, Dossena plans to set his sights on challenging Colback for the left-back place as soon as possible, determined to show he can be a valuable squad player for the Black Cats.
But he is not expected to be in contention until the end of the month and will miss the league games against Arsenal, West Brom and Liverpool as well as the Capital One Cup third round tie against Peterborough.