SUNDERLAND’S hopes of signing Marcos Alonso could be boosted this week, with Fiorentina looking to win the race for Mexican left-back Miguel Layun.
Alonso took part in his first training session back with parent club Fiorentina yesterday afternoon at their pre-season camp in northern Italy.
As the Echo reported last month, Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella wants to gauge Alonso’s progress first-hand during pre-season to see how he has developed during pre-season and whether he can provide effective competition for Italy international Manuel Pasqual.
But Fiorentina have been tracking Layun, who started all four of Mexico’s games at the World Cup, throughout the summer, along with Inter Milan, Cagliari, Barcelona and Eintracht Frankfurt.
Layun admitted in May that he was attracted to the prospect of joining Fiorentina and his agent claimed last night that he expects his exit from Mexican outfit Club America to be finalised by the end of this week.
That could hasten the departure of fellow left-back Alonso, who Sunderland have been pursuing throughout the summer after his successful loan spell at the Stadium of Light during the second half of last season.
It has been a test of patience for the Black Cats so far though, with hopes of a swap deal involving ex-Fiorentina loanee Modibo Diakite failing to materialise.
Alonso’s father and agent, Marcos Alonso senior, said last week: “Now it’s up to Fiorentina to make a decision.
“Right now, we only know that he has been asked to begin preparing for pre-season and he still has two years of his contract (with Fiorentina).”
Meanwhile, Argentine forward Nacho Scocco is moving ever closer to the Sunderland exit door.
Scocco’s hopes of returning to former club Newell’s Older Boys have increased significantly over the past week after his agent arrived for talks on Wearside over the weekend, armed with an offer of around £1.5million from the Argentine club.
And now, a Newell’s director has arrived on these shores in a bid to find an agreement with Sunderland, with the Black Cats looking to recoup the £4m they paid to sign Scocco in the January transfer window.