El-Hadji Ba joins Cats with with Gino set to follow suit

Sunderland have signed El-Hadji Ba from Le Havre and hope to tie up a deal with Argentina defender Gino Peruzzi

Sunderland new signing El-Hadji Ba
Sunderland new signing El-Hadji Ba

Sunderland are set to finally tie up a deal for Argentina defender Gino Peruzzi after his club Velez Sarsfield confirmed he will jet into England today – and have taken a significant step towards signing Italy winger Emanuele Giaccherini.

The Black Cats continued their close-season recruitment by finally confirming the signing of midfielder El-Hadji Ba from Le Havre, who has signed a three-year deal with the club.

But they are far from finished for the summer, with Paolo Di Canio understood to have targeted a minimum of eleven new arrivals.

The club have had a bid of around £8.5million accepted for Giaccherini while Peruzzi could make it nine new faces before the end of the week, after his club confirmed through official channels that he will travel to England.

Sunderland struck a deal with Velez yesterday morning and – crucially – have also secured an initial agreement on the player’s personal terms ahead of his visit to the Academy of Light.

A fee understood to be in the region of £5m has been agreed between the two clubs, and Velez president Miguel Calello will be part of the travelling party that meets

Sunderland officials on Wearside today as the Black Cats edge closer to their eighth signing.

The agreement will pave the way for the highly-rated 21-year-old to join Sunderland, possibly even joining up with the squad in Italy as they are put through their paces by boss Paolo Di Canio until early next week.

Peruzzi’s signature would be a major coup for Sunderland and is another example of the extensive contacts of Roberto De Fanti in Latin America, which have been utilised in persuading the right-back to come to England.

The club will sell Phil Bardsley before the start of the season but are prepared to take a major hit on the right-back. They have been warned that they may recoup less than £200,000 for the defender, who is interesting Fulham and a major Championship club.

Peruzzi is seen inside the club as a major upgrade on the Scotland defender, and the club have patiently played the waiting game after a string of contradictory stories. A statement on the club’s website read: “Velez Sarsfield and Sunderland Association Football Club have reached an agreement to transfer the player Gino Peruzzi.

“Two officials of our institution will travel to England along with the defender to conclude the business.”

As they continue a major revolution of their squad, Sunderland are looking to sign another defender and a striker – but their efforts are now being concentrated on securing the signing of Juventus winger Giaccherini, who is the subject of an �8.5m bid from the Black Cats which has been accepted. Italian sources have suggested Juve are ready to accept the offer for the 28-year-old, although The Journal understands there is still work to be done on the deal.

De Fanti is set to meet Juve officials before the end of the week in an attempt to push the deal through, although Giaccherini is on holiday following his participation in the Confederations Cup.

The player’s agent said that he wants to play regularly in the run-up to next summer’s World Cup.

“If an interesting offer comes in, then, of course, we will consider it,” said Furio Valcareggi.

“We have to plan for the future, particularly with the World Cup finals just 12 months away, and if Emanuele is not going to be starting for Juve, then maybe we should look for a situation where he is playing every week.”

Sunderland’s summer recruitment shows no sign of easing up and they continued to gather momentum by clinching a deal for Ba yesterday, in a move that has been over a year in the making.

Premier League News


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer