GUS Poyet is still quietly hopeful of landing £14m target Fabio Borini, despite the Italian attacker jetting off on Liverpool’s pre-season tour.
The Sunderland head coach confirmed at the weekend that the two clubs had agreed a fee and the only thing that remained was for the player to agree personal terms.
And the fact that Borini then headed off to America with Liverpool rather than Sunderland with his agent sparked fears that the striker had turned his back on Wearside.
But speaking to reporters after Sunderland’s 1-0 win over Carlisle United at Brunton Park last night, Poyet was relaxed about the situation.
“I can assure you though that there is no disappointment on my part that it has not happened yet,” he said.
“It is normal.
“And with all respect to the media, they do not know everything that is going on.
“It is not for me to explain but it is not just a question of Fabio wanting to come or not.
“There are many, many things to look at and unfortunately I cannot comment on those.
“We are involved in negotiations and you never know how long that can take.
“There’s nothing new to report as things stand but we are still hoping to close the deal completely.”
The ball is now in the court of the player himself and his agent and the others they are negotiating with but Poyet feels that a lot of things are in Sunderland’s favour.
“It’s up to Fabio,” he said.
“We have been clear, everything is fine, there’s no doubt about his connection with our club and me and him get along fine, so there is no reason for it not to happen.”
“I would love to know how long it will take to sort out but all I can tell you is that things are changing every day.
“We have targets that we are looking for, we have other options, but we have an agreement with Liverpool and we will do everything possible to get Fabio to the club first.
“If Fabio does not come, it does not set us back, we would move on - we are not a one-player team.
“But I hope the fact that we are after players like him shows the quality of players that we are trying to bring to the club.
“It shows we are committed and prepared to spend money.
“But now we are looking to move on with other players too because it is not just about one player it is about the whole squad and there are other areas to look at.
“He’s a player that everyone wants to see but our transfer work this summer is not just about one player, it’s about the squad and there are other situations we need to work out.”
Poyet stressed though that the pursuit of Borini would not hold up Sunderland’s transfer work in other areas.
“Obviously things become clearer once we know what will happen with Fabio,” he said.
“But we are still able to progress in other areas and it is important that we do.”