Sunderland are hopeful of finally completing their pursuit of Will Buckley today – but the winger’s arrival will not end their interest in Fabio Borini.
The Black Cats were frustrated in their attempts to sign 24-year-old Buckley in January, but yesterday had a £2.5m bid accepted.
His signing will reduce the urgency to tie up a deal for Liverpool’s Borini, but coach Gus Poyet remains hopeful that deal can still happen.
Buckley was a key figure under Poyet at Brighton and Hove Albion, but has only played half-an-hour of football under new manager Sami Hyypia. He was left out of Tuesday’s League Cup win over Cheltenham Town because of his impending sale.
Buckley can play on either wing, but has mainly operated on the right. Last season, Borini was predominantly used on the left of Poyet’s4-1-4-1 formation.
The Uruguayan is unlikely to have any qualms about handing former Rochdale and Watford player Buckley a full Premier League debut at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. Liam Bridcutt, who joined from Brighton in January, was thrust into the Tyne-Wear derby with only one training session with his new team-mates, and performed well.
Emanuele Giaccherini straining his groin in last Thursday’s friendly win over Real Betis had left Poyet short of left-wing options. Connor Wickham was tried there against Udinese, and could yet be used at the Hawthorns after West Ham United appeared to give up on their pursuit of the centre-forward. Adam Johnson was Sunderland’s first-choice right-winger last season, and although he is left-footed, he has always been more effective cutting in from that side of the field.
Borini remains the man Poyet wants on the opposite flank, and although he was sending out contradictory messages about the time-scale, he is confident of completing the transfer. A £14m fee has been agreed, but Borini must be persuaded his future is brighter at Sunderland than at Liverpool, where he will face more competition for his place.
Poyet told one media outlet yesterday: “We are confident that maybe in the next few days we can do something about Fabio.”
His words to another sounded more realistic, commenting: “I would like to think that at least by the end of the transfer window we will have a great chance to get him.”
As expected, winger David Moberg-Karlsson has completed a move to Danish club Nordsjaelland.