SUNDERLAND’S chances of re-signing Fabio Borini suffered a blow today as AC Milan officials contacted Liverpool to signal their desire to sign the Italian on loan.

Having accepted that Borini will not be signing a permanent contract on Wearside this summer despite a £14m fee having been agreed, Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet had been hoping to persuade the striker to sign another season-long loan.

The prospects of that happening increased earlier in the week when Liverpool completed the £16m capture of Mario Balotelli, with the arrival of the former Manchester City striker making it even less likely that Borini will be able to force his way into the first-team picture at Anfield.

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However, AC Milan’s interest is a major complication as Borini has previously spoken of a desire to return to Serie A in order to increase his chances of reclaiming a place in the Italian national side.

Ironically, Milan have identified the 23-year-old as a potential replacement for Balotelli and, with just five days of the transfer window remaining, the Italian side are ready to offer a lucrative financial package in an attempt to lure Borini to the San Siro.

They initially contacted Chelsea to register an interest in Fernando Torres, but while Jose Mourinho would potentially be willing to loan out the £50m Spaniard, the terms of any potential deal have forced Milan to accept that an agreement is extremely unlikely.

Borini is regarded as a much more realistic target, and while Milan are unable to offer European football after only finishing eighth in Serie A last season, the lure of a move to the San Siro could prove difficult for Borini to resist.

Sunderland are also attempting to push through a deal for Salomon Kalou, but that too has encountered difficulties after a pair of German clubs also stepped up their own attempts to sign the Lille striker.

Both Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach have contacted Lille officials to discuss a possible deal, and alarmingly for Sunderland, Kalou has been quick to praise the standard of attacking football in the Bundesliga.

Speaking to the French press, the former Chelsea striker said: “My departure from Lille? It is 50-50. But the German league is good for forwards.”