SUNDERLAND are expected to sign Ricky Alvarez on a season-long loan deal after finally agreeing terms with the Inter Milan midfielder on Saturday night.
And Gus Poyet is set to complete a second deal before tonight’s transfer deadline, with Liverpool defender Sebasitan Coates having agreed a season-long loan.
Poyet and Black Cats sporting director Lee Congerton made the breakthrough in the hours after Sunderland’s first defeat of the season, a 1-0 reverse at Queens Park Rangers.
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There, Poyet reiterated the need for new signings, and with the transfer deadline set to pass this evening at 11pm, the Uruguayan expects it to be a busy day.
The signing of Alvarez, an Argentinian international, can be made permanent at the end of the season for 12m Euros, with the club paying Inter 1m Euros up front for the loan.
Sunderland held detailed talks with Coates over the weekend, and the defender’s arrival would rule out a loan deal for Fabio Borini as the Black Cats are only allowed to loan one player from Liverpool.
It is not out of the question that they could look elsewhere for a defender if Borini was to have a lastminute change of heart, and while Poyet increasingly accepts that will not happen he remains reluctant to completely draw a line under his pursuit of last season’s loan striker even at such a late stage of the window.
Sunderland agreed a deal with Liverpool for Borini in July, but although Borini had indicated he would like to return to Wearside, the deal has been in limbo and has developed into something of a saga.
“Unfortunately we cannot give you all the true information why he’s not with us,”
said Poyet after the defeat at Loftus Road. “I know from the outside it looks like it’s him not wanting to come to Sunderland but I can promise you it’s not like that. I’m keeping it open because he’s a Liverpool player but maybe he can become a Sunderland player.
“I know Fabio and I’m a believer that when you know the players, you know what you get.
“I will see tomorrow.”
Sunderland need at least three more players through the doors at the Academy of Light to ensure a repeat of last season does not occur.
And although Poyet agrees, he has refused to make panic buys as the transfer window enters its final hours.
“We’re going to do something, we have to, because of the numbers. It will depend on what happens. I don’t want any panic buys,” said Poyet, who vowed to work over the weekend on transfer target “You don’t stop. It’s now the international break and normally the managers can relax a little bit. But we need to be up north for two days, staying there, being at the training ground, waiting.
“When the phone rings you don’t want any offers for your players but at the same time you want to get a few.
“ It’s like a game, with the difference that it’s a very important game for a manager because it depends on the players you’ve got how you’re going to do in the next four months until January.”
Sunderland dominated for spells in West London, but were hit by a first-half injury- time goal from Charlie Austin that turned out to be the winner.
After Poyet recommended him for international selection, news of Lee Cattermole’s rehabilitation may have been premature after the Stockton-born midfielder could have been sent off after two fouls in quick succession in the first half while Sunderland were under intense pressure from Rangers.
But Poyet defended his midfield enforcer, likening him to Dennis Wise who Poyet shared a dressing room with between 1997 and 2001 while at Chelsea, adding that the signing of Liam Bridcutt in January has given Cattermole further competition in the middle of the park.
“We were in a bad spell with his character but if I was worried I would change it,” he said.
“I had a chat with him at half-time and everything was alright. Different characters.
If we were all very nice, it would be boring for you, you couldn’t write about anyone.
“If he gets sent off, he’s got a problem because there are players waiting to play, I’m telling you, desperate to play.
“Then when they lose their position, they cannot come and see the manager and ask why they are not playing.
Because the team is winning and you’ve been suspended.
He knows. “Sometimes when we’re not doing well he’s the one who shows a little more frustration than the rest. But that’s his character. I like to have that type of character, I don’t like all very nice people, it’s not my team, I need a little bit of nastiness as well.
“Is he my Luis Suarez? No, he’s my Dennis Wise.”