Nacho Scocco is wanted by Greek side Olympiakos - but he wants to stay at Sunderland

Sunderland forward Nacho Scocco is a target for Olympiakos but he determined to remain at the Stadium of Light

Action Images / Lee Smith Sunderland's Nacho Scocco in action with Southampton's Maya Yoshida
Sunderland's Nacho Scocco in action with Southampton's Maya Yoshida

Olympiakos want to end Ignacio Scocco's Sunderland frustration and take the Argentina striker back to Greece.

But the forward is desperate to make it work in the Premier League and is set to reject the overtures of the Greek champions to try and carve out a front man role under Gustavo Poyet.

With Sunderland still working to try and secure new deals for Seb Larsson and Jack Colback, there is another priority for Poyet – ensuring the goalscoring woes that blighted them last season are a thing of the past.

Connor Wickham’s goalscoring run has booked him a place in Poyet’s plans next season but the club are open to offers for Jozy Altidore and there remain doubts over Steven Fletcher. Scocco is the odd one out, having signed permanently from Internacional in January but failing to nail down a place in the starting XI.

His form was a disappointment and that seems to have encouraged interest from Greece, where Scocco played 88 times and scored 26 goals for AEK Athens. Scocco has told friends that he is not interested in the move, however, and wants to return to Sunderland in pre-season to try and turn around his fortunes at the Stadium of Light.

Poyet said back in April that he was “looking forward” to seeing the player in pre-season and thought that he would benefit from his crash course introduction to English football.

“We are all different, and how we adapt is different,” Poyet said then.

“And it depends on the situation they come into. For instance, take a player who finds it hardest to adapt in England – I don’t know, maybe you sign someone from Dubai where they are playing in 40C heat and then you bring them to the North East in winter.

“If you put them into a team that is playing well, it takes them two seconds to adapt.

“But when a player comes from somewhere – anywhere – abroad, and they join a side that is having a bad time, then it takes a lot longer. I’m really looking forward to seeing him in pre-season.”

Meanwhile, former boss Paolo Di Canio has revealed his delight that the club managed to stay in the Premier League.

In a fresh round of interviews no doubt designed to help land him a job, he said that he was “happy” that a team that he criticised as recently as February managed to stay in the division.

“I’m happy for the fans because they are amazing. Their passion is amazing,” he said. “I’m very happy that they stayed up.”

He repeated that he had made a “miracle” the year before Poyet’s act of alchemy.

“We made a miracle, we did a fantastic job because the team came from a very bad run with two points from eight games. They were in freefall,” said the 45-year-old.

“We changed a few things in a short period which is very, very difficult. If you’ve got seven or eight months, you can change things and deliver your philosophy.

“We started again, but I didn’t have a long time to deliver things and fix my ideas – only five games. They changed ideas and stopped.”


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