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Sunderland open talks about Argentinian defender
SUNDERLAND have opened talks with Argentinian club Tigre about left-back Lucas Orban, and are hoping to sign both the South American and Danny Rose this summer.
Paolo Di Canio has identified left-back as a particularly problematic area following Rose's return to Tottenham at the end of his loan spell.
The Italian remains hopeful of signing Rose on a permanent basis, although Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed the defender, who is also interesting Liverpool, will take part in pre-season training with the rest of the Spurs squad once he has returned from international duty with England under-21s.
Regardless of what happens with Rose, Sunderland are also tracking a number of other left-backs, and they have been in touch with Tigre to discuss a possible fee for Orban.
The 24-year spent three years with River Plate before joining Tigre on loan in 2011. He completed a permanent move to the Buenos Aires club shortly, with the South American media reporting the fee for the deal as £660,000.
Sunderland are hoping to sign Orban for a similarly low fee, although it is understood his Argentinian employers have quoted an initial price above the £1m-mark.
The Black Cats have already agreed deals with Cabral, Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakite this summer, and a fourth free agent, El-Hadji Ba, is also expected to move to Wearside once the transfer window formally reopens.
However, Di Canio will be given licence to pay transfer fees for some of his targets, although Ellis Short is keen to keep his summer outlay to a sustainable level having shelled out £22m to sign Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson last summer.
Having confirmed the departure of Titus Bramble and Matt Kilgallon last week, Di Canio is expected to confirm that Phil Bardsley does not have a future on Wearside later today.
Bardsley was axed from the squad for the 1-0 defeat at Tottenham on the final day of last season after he was pictured covered in £50 notes on the floor of a casino in the week before the game.
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