Sunderland have turned down a £1.75m bid from Newell’s Old Boys for striker Nacho Scocco.
The Argentinians approached the Black Cats with the offer of a co-ownership arrangement that would have seen them pay £1.75m for a 50% stake in Scocco, with the option of either paying the balance at a later date or Sunderland receiving the remainder of the fee if the player moved on again.
While co-ownership deals do not exist in England, they are commonplace in South America and also in other European countries, including Italy.
But Sunderland are not interested in such a deal and have told Newell’s they want to sell Scocco outright – and recoup the full £3.2m they paid Brazilian side Internacional for his services just six months ago.
Scocco is determined to return to his hometown club, where he began his career and spent a spell on loan at two seasons ago.
Reports in Argentina suggest the 29-year-old has already agreed in principle a five-year contract with Newell’s, although that will be an irrelevance unless the clubs can agree a price.
Sunderland have told Newell’s they will not allow Scocco to depart for less than they paid for him because the latest phase of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations – which come into force this season – means they cannot afford to make a loss on the player.
Last season’s FFP rules allowed clubs to make a loss of £37.2m over the previous two seasons, while this season that sum must account for the losses over the previous three campaigns.
Scocco made just six Premier League appearances for Sunderland last term, all of which came from the substitutes’ bench, without scoring.
Meanwhile, Sunderland have taken teenage Crewe Alexandra striker Max Clayton on trial.
The 19-year-old is out of contract at Gresty Road, but his age means Sunderland would have to pay compensation to Crewe if they sign him.
Clayton has been a regular for the Railwaymen over the last three seasons and has made almost 100 senior appearances in all competitions, scoring 16 goals.
“All I can tell our supporters is that he is currently training with another club,” said Crewe manager Steve Davis. “They have spoken to us and as he is out of contract, he can go where he likes. He is within his rights to do that.
“It will be a type of trial and they will make a decision on him after that.
“We are due compensation and hopefully something can be decided between the clubs if it comes to that.”