Sunderland have reportedly agreed a deal worth £14 million for Liverpool’s Italian striker Fabio Borini. The 23-year-old spent last season on loan on Wearside and has become a popular figure at the Stadium of Light having scored ten goals in 40 appearances in all competitions as the Black Cats dodged relegation, including the opener in the Capital One Cup final against Manchester City.
Despite the loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, Liverpool have decided Borini is surplus to requirements at the club having already signed Rickie Lambert with Loic Remy likely to sign in the coming days. Borini was Brendan Rodgers’ first signing on Anfield having joined the club for £11 million in 2012, but he failed to make his mark and only ever made 20 appearances before leaving for Sunderland.
However, he did feature in Liverpool’s Saturday friendly with Preston North End, with Rodgers telling BT Sport that “It’s an agreement between the clubs but nothing agreed with the player as of yet. He is still very much a Liverpool player” – the move could still fall through, as Borini has suggested that he may be willing to stay and fight for a place at Anfield.
Following the arrivals of Costel Pantilimon, Jordi Gomez and Billy Jones, Borini will become Gus Poyet’s fourth signing of the summer transfer window should the move be completed as expected. Sunderland’s Uruguayan manager will hope that the forward can move past the injury problems which stunted his growth at Liverpool, as he played an important part in his side’s ‘Great Escape’ from relegation last season.
That said, many have suggested that the £14 million fee which has been agreed is much better business for Liverpool than it is for Sunderland, given his fairly average scoring record and the inflated fees which have been paid in recent seasons for Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson.