Fabio Borini rejected a late hijack attempt from West Ham to complete his return to the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland’s 13-month pursuit of former loanee Borini finally reached a successful ending yesterday after the Italian penned a four-year contract in a £7.75million move from Liverpool, which could eventually rise to £10m, depending on add-ons.
The Black Cats had virtually abandoned their interest in Borini late last week, but after several other striker targets proved discouraging over the weekend - most notably Borussia Dortmund’s Adrian Ramos - they restarted talks with Liverpool over the 24-year-old.
However, the Mail understands that while Borini was discussing terms and undergoing a medical at Sunderland yesterday, West Ham also submitted a bid with Liverpool.
The Hammers, like Sunderland, had previously made an enquiry with Liverpool, but when they learned of the Black Cats’ move, they attempted to hijack the deal.
But Borini had already decided to return to Wearside and immediately dismissed the idea of moving to Upton Park, after interest from Italian pair Inter Milan and Fiorentina never developed into anything concrete prior to the transfer window closing on the Continent last night.
Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat had been keen to add a powerful targetman to his squad this summer, yet Borini is likely to be the only new striker arriving at the Stadium of Light prior to the deadline.
Sunderland, who still have two domestic loans available, are likely to look to bring in a defender today.