SUNDERLAND head coach Gus Poyet hopes to finalise a permanent deal for Marcos Alonso this week after the club reportedly made a formal offer for the Fiorentina left-back.
Transfer activity on Wearside has dried up since Poyet sealed transfers for Billy Jones, Jordi Gomez and Costel Pantilimon , but the Black Cats boss is keen to complete more signings before the squad head to Portugal for their pre-season tour later this month.
Poyet wants Alonso on a permanent basis after the Spaniard impressed during his loan spell in the second half of last season, when he helped the Black Cats avoid relegation, but progress has been scuppered in recent weeks with the Serie A club playing hardball over a potential transfer.
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It is understood Sunderland have floated the idea of centre-back Modibo Diakite going in the opposite direction as part of a deal for the 23-year-old, but the Italian club are also looking for a fee in the region of £2m.
Whether the Wearsiders’ offer meets that valuation remains to be seen, but Poyet made the left-back a priority when he returned from holiday at the beginning of July.
Sporting director Lee Congerton has been exploring other options with Sunderland aware of interest from West Ham and Swansea in Alonso, but it is understood the player is keen to work under Poyet again having resurrected his career in England under the Uruguayan.
Congerton and Poyet have drawn up a list of alternatives, including Schalke’s Christian Fuchs, but with Alonso eager to return to Wearside and Sunderland officials are confident a deal can be struck.
Meanwhile, Newell’s Old Boys have returned with an improved offer for Ignacio Scocco.
The Argentinian club made an initial offer of £1.75m, which would have seen Sunderland retain a 50 per cent stake in the player as part of a co-ownership deal, but that was rejected with the Wearsiders keen to sell the striker outright.
The Black Cats want to recoup the £3.2m they paid for the 29-year-old in January and it has been reported Newell’s have sent secretary Pablo Morosano to thrash out a deal.