GUSTAVO POYET has claimed that Fabio Borini wants to join Sunderland - and that he remains confident the striker's proposed £14m move from Liverpool will go through.
The Black Cats agreed a fee with Liverpool for the Italian almost a month ago, but there has still been no progress in terms of completing a deal that would see Borini unveiled as a permanent addition at the Stadium of Light.
Given that travelled to the United States for Liverpool's pre-season tour within a couple of days of Sunderland agreeing a price for his transfer, it has been assumed that Borini is reluctant to re-join the Black Cats, having spent last season on loan at the club.
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However, Poyet insists that is not the case, even if he concedes that a transfer is proving incredibly difficult to complete.
Poyet said: "It's still ongoing. I can assure the supporters it's not over. Please trust me - I can't tell you everything because it's not fair on everybody.
"It's not that Borini doesn't want to come. I have talked to him and things are clear, but it's a matter of doing it at the right time. In any case, he is just coming back to fitness and wouldn't be available against West Brom.
"We need a player in that position and are ready to move on and have another option. But it's impossible to say it will happen tomorrow, Monday or the 31st of the month."
Connor Wickham's future is also uncertain, and having rejected a £4m bid from West Ham earlier in the month, Poyet is braced to received further offers for the striker, who has entered the final year of his contract and has so far proved unwilling to sign a new deal.
Poyet said: "I'm ready for someone to come in for any player because that's football. When you start the season with the transfer window open, you have to be ready for bids.
"Connor has been in my plans from the last eight games of last season. I am looking forward to seeing the same kind of form - him playing for us and scoring goals."