Sunderland are expected to complete the signing of Santiago Vergini today – 24 hours after landing England midfielder Jack Rodwell.
Rodwell finalised his move to Wearside from champions Manchester City for an undisclosed fee – thought to be in excess of £10m – and signed a five-year contract with the Black Cats.
The 23-year-old made just seven Premier League starts in two years at Man City, and is looking forward to playing regular first-team football at Sunderland and winning back his place in the England squad.
“It’s very good [to have the move completed] and it’s exciting times for me,” said the 23-year-old.
“I came up on Monday but we didn’t quite finish it [the move] until Tuesday morning, but it’s done now which is great news and I just can’t wait now.
“Regular football – that’s the most important thing for me right now.
“I want to get back to enjoying it, so this is a great place to be at.
“Over the last couple of seasons, I haven’t played anywhere near as much football as I wanted to, so watching the World Cup left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.
“I was supporting the team 100%, but of course I wanted to be there.
“I think it’s time to get back playing, put that right and get back into the England squad.”
After a slow start, Sunderland’s rebuilding work is picking up pace and Argentine centre-back Vergini is set to become the club’s sixth summer signing.
Vergini – who spent the second half of last season on loan with the Black Cats – was at the Academy of Light yesterday to undergo a medical, and is expected to join on a season-long loan from Uruguayan side CA Fenix.
The 26-year-old made 11 Premier League appearances for the club last term, and played in the right-back role in the final stages of the season as Sunderland completed their Great Escape.
Assuming there are no late hitches Vergini will become the Black Cats’ sixth summer signing following the arrival of Rodwell, and the earlier additions of Billy Jones, Jordi Gomez, Costel Pantilimon and Patrick van Aanholt.
Sunderland are also continuing their pursuit of Liverpool striker Fabio Borini, following his hugely successful season-long loan at the Stadium of Light.
The clubs agreed a £14m fee almost three weeks ago, but since then progress has been slow.
Borini suffered a shoulder injury on the Reds’ pre-season trip to the USA, which has contributed to the delay.
The 23-year-old scored 10 goals in all competitions for Sunderland and became a fans’ favourite, picking up the club’s Young Player of the Year award.
Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet will be delighted with his quality of his signings so far, and to have landed Rodwell – ahead of a series of Premier League clubs linked with him, including Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and his former club Everton – is a major coup.
Rodwell added: “There was a lot of media [speculation] about me moving to different teams, but I met up with the manager and all the people involved with the club and they came across really well.
“They told me all about the club and the vision, and it swayed me because it is such a good club with such passionate fans.”