Sunderland are planning for life without Fabio Borini after expressing an interest in taking Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck to the Stadium of Light.
Gus Poyet could turn his attentions to a deal for Welbeck after growing extremely frustrated in his pursuit of Borini, who scored 7 goals in 32 appearances on loan at the Black Cats last season.
The Italian forward remains Poyet’s number one transfer target this summer but the club have so far failed to get the £14m deal over the line.
Despite his frustrations at the stalling of the deal the Uruguayan boss believes there is still a chance the 23-year-old will still move the north-east in the coming weeks.
“It’s still ongoing. I can assure the supporters it’s not over,” the Sunderland boss said.
But Sunderland are preparing for the worst in the chase for the Liverpool star and Welbeck, who recently rejected a move to join Steve Bruce at Hull, would be an ideal place to start for the Mackems.
It is still unclear how the England international, who scored six goals in a 26-game loan spell at the Stadium of Light during the 2010-11 season, fits into the new era at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal.
First-team opportunities have been limited for the 23-year-old so far this campaign and with the transfer deadline fast approaching Welbeck may decide his future lies away from Manchester United.
West Ham, who are looking for a replacement for the injured Andy Carroll, have also been linked with a move for the 23-year-old but a move to former club Sunderland could appeal more to the striker.
The Black Cats are currently 21/10 with Ladbrokes to finish in the top 10 this season but if any deal for Welbeck, or Borini for that matter, is struck, then those odds could plummet.
Poyet could grab a glimpse of Welbeck first-hand at the weekend when Sunderland host Manchester United. The Black Cats are 7/2 for victory while LVG’s side are 3/4 to get their campaign back on track after their shock opening day defeat to Swansea.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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