Fabio Borini’s proposed £14m move to Sunderland is anything but clear-cut, the Italian’s agent claiming the striker wants to stay at Liverpool.
The Black Cats agreed a fee with Liverpool for Borini at the end of last week but are yet to discuss personal terms with the 23-year-old, who was a huge hit during his season-long loan stay on Wearside last season.
Borini returned to Liverpool hoping he would be given the chance to shine at Anfield this term and the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona strengthened his case.
However, the arrival of Rickie Lambert from Southampton and now Liverpool’s move for one-time Newcastle United loanee Loic Remy means he is likely to find his first-team chances on Merseyside limited, the fact the Reds have agreed a deal with Sunderland proving they are prepared to let him leave.
However, reports in Italy quote Borini’s agent Marco De Marchi as saying: “Borini wants to remain on Merseyside.
“Sunderland have made a large offer of €18 million to sign him, but Fabio wants to stay at Liverpool.
“His project with Liverpool started two years ago when he left Roma – he began a journey and it is a major project for him.
“He should not be judged on his first year - he was out for six months with injuries and during the past year he took a step back by going to Sunderland and he had an extraordinary season.
“His future? Now, after the loan, Liverpool have not told me anything. I think he will stay, he is convinced he will play.”
If Borini does stay at Liverpool, he could find himself fifth-choice striker behind Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and possibly Loic Remy, if the latter completes his £8.5m move from QPR.
De Marchi added: “Playing behind Sterling, Sturridge, Lambert and now Remy? At Roma he was with Francesco Totti, Dani Osvaldo, ErikLamela and Bojan Orkic. He has no fear of playing alongside anyone, and for me he can play a part within any top club.”
Borini is with Liverpool on the club’s pre-season tour of the US.
It kicks off tomorrow with a friendly against Borini’s former club Roma in Boston.
Sunderland travel to Brunton Park tonight to take on Carlisle United in a friendly.