SUNDERLAND have pulled out of a proposed deal for Gino Peruzzi after deciding the Argentinian’s ongoing ligament problem is too serious to progress.
Peruzzi’s initial medical on Wearside revealed damage relating to a ligament injury sustained last season, and the full-back travelled to Italy last week for a second series of scans.
Officials at his Argentinian club, Velez Sarsfield, claim those tests resulted in a clean bill of health, but Sunderland’s interpretation of the medical examination is clearly different and director of football Roberto de Fanti has pulled the plug on the £5m transfer.
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It is possible de Fanti could revisit the deal in the future, but the Italian will now turn his attentions elsewhere as he attempts to secure a new right-back before the start of the season.
“At the moment, there is no chance for Gino Peruzzi to join us,” said Black Cats boss Paolo Di Canio, who was speaking ahead of this morning’s Barclays Asia Trophy opener in Hong Kong against Tottenham. “My club is not a club that can sign players with problems. We are not Manchester City, who can think about buying a talented player with an injury and wait for him.
“We are not very late (in the transfer window), but I would like a player ready to join the rest of the group because the process of integration is not just physical. They have to understand how we play, which is not easy.”
The collapse of the Peruzzi deal leaves Sunderland without a recognised right-back on their books, apart from Phil Bardsley, who has been told in no uncertain terms that he does not have a future at the Stadium of Light.
Their other main target in the position, Luis Pedro Cavanda, signed a new deal with Lazio on Monday, and Craig Gardner will have to fill the right-back berth against Spurs this morning.
Sunderland are similarly short of options on the other flank, with proposed deals for Benjamin Mendy and Lucas Orban also having failed to come to fruition this summer.
Valencia’s Aly Cissokho is a leading option, and Black Cats officials have made a number of inquiries about his services, but Liverpool have also expressed a strong interest in the Frenchman.
Ideally, Sunderland would love to strike a second loan deal for Danny Rose, but Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has conclusively ruled out releasing the England under-21 international for a second season in succession.
“He had an excellent season last year and is one of those players that we want for our future,” said Villas-Boas. “It is one of those cases where a loan has worked out extremely well for him and he will definitely be part of our squad this season. Credit to him for making that loan work, and the reward is to be involved at Tottenham.”
Sunderland’s biggest two deals this summer have been the £5m capture of Jozy Altidore and the £8m signing of Emmanuele Giaccherini, and both players are expected to be involved in today’s game in Hong Kong, which kicks off at 11am English time.
Giaccherini is tussling with Vito Mannone for the honour of being the first Italian ever to represent Sunderland in a competitive fixture, and while the recent record of Italians playing in the Premier League is not great, Di Canio is confident the former Juventus winger will make a telling impact.
The likes of Mario Balotelli and Alberto Aquilani have struggled to adapt to the demands of life in England, but Di Canio expects Giaccherini to take the transition from Serie A in his stride.
“I’m sure Giaccherini will impress everybody,” he said. “There is no doubt about his technical quality. English football is one of the more difficult leagues in the world because there is much more tackles and you have to deal with the fixture congestion and playing in the winter.
“You have to change your mentality completely, but I was sure about his attitude and desire to come to England. He’s a fantastic lad and will be one of the best players in this league.
“He’s a very humble guy, but he is one of the best players in one of the best national teams in the world. He’s still a bit behind and a bit heavy in his legs right now, but in the future he will be a crucial player.”