Lucas Orban is a name that has been strongly linked with Sunderland recently, with reports suggesting the two clubs had agreed terms and were waiting for the Argentine season to finish before Orban made his decision.
Now his Italian agent, Philip Colasanto, has moved to clarify the situation with the defender, in an interview with calcionews24.com.
First up, Colasanto was asked if Orban would be playing in the Premier League with Sunderland next season;
The news of the interest of Sunderland is in the British media, attracting the attention here with us because Lucas was approached on several occasions to various teams in our league. Unfortunately we can not say that the boy is a step away from signing up for the English club.
He was then asked what the situation was and why he said 'unfortunately';
I was contacted by Sunderland two months ago by the new Director of Football for the English club [Roberto De Fanti] and he asked me what the situation of the player was, they wanted to take him as soon as possible...
He was then asked if there was a problem with the transfer;
No, no problem: the club introduced me to an important project and had concrete interest in the boy, with a very good offer that I sent to the father of Lucas. Now he's playing the latest games of the season and his head is centred on this. The many rumours going around do nothing but fuel confusion: to date, concrete, there is the offer of Sunderland to Tigre to acquire the player. Everything else for the moment does not count.
After being asked why Orban would accept the Sunderland offer, Colasanto had nothing but praise for the Sunderland staff;
It should be said about the leaders of Sunderland that they have behaved like truly great men: they have put in writing their intentions and, from the Chairman to Di Canio in person, have said all important words for the player, exposing very precisely in order to fully perceive the enthusiasm that you have brought this guy. Personally, I've never seen anything like it from us [in Italy], and, as we used to be, what impressed me very favourably.
Colasanto then pointed out that although Orban is Sunderland's first choice, they cannot wait around forever;
So far, the club holds the door open for Orban. Unfortunately will not be so for ever, because the market is open and they have to fill the role. He is the first choice, but they turn to the names of possible alternatives and, as soon as possible, the English club will rightly make a choice. I hope that at that point Lucas will be ready to reciprocate the attention received so far from the "Black Cats".
It looks as if Sunderland won't wait too much longer for Orban to make his mind up before moving on to other targets but it should be noted that there are only a couple of weeks left in the Argentine Primera Division. So we should find out for sure in the next fortnight whether Orban will be the latest player to sign up to the Paolo Di Canio revolution.