Sunderland had been tracking Santiago Vergini for some time and have finally completed his protracted transfer from Argentine side Estudiantes.
Sunderland and Estudiantes had been talking for most of the month regarding the transfer of Vergini after the player had agreed terms with Sunderland and after some delays the two clubs finally agreed terms last week. Vergini then travelled to the North East late last week, however attempting to get the deal over the line for a player who was believed to be co-owned (with Uruguayan club Atletico Fenix) was slow going.
The defender who has one cap for Argentina, only signed for Estudiantes in the summer but after the La Plata based side reportedly failed to pay him for November and December, the player decided to push for a move from the cash strapped side.
There have been mixed signals about whether the player bought out his contract or whether it's a loan deal but the financial details of the transfer emerged last week. Sunderland will pay an initial $700,000 ($100,000 of which goes to Vergini, to cover the debt Estudiantes owe him), with another $350,000 in June if they decide to make the transfer permanent and a final $150,000 if the player returns to Argentina before June 2015. If the 25-year-old does sign a permanent deal at the end of the season, then he will sign a four-year-contract until the summer of 2018.
Gus Poyet recently praised Vergini and said he deserves credit for his keenness to push the transfer through;
If it goes through, we have to give plenty of credit to the player because he wants this badly.
That gives you a big hope as a manager.
Meanwhile, Argentine legend Juan Sebastian Veron has given a press conference in his home country where he criticised Vergini for the manner of his departure;
Beyond the ambitions he may have, as we all have, as a player he also had teammates, the manner of his departure could have been different.
6'3" central defender Vergini, who was a former teammate of another Sunderland target Nacho Scocco at Newell's Old Boys, will wear the number 27 shirt for Sunderland and his arrival could see Modibo Diakite or Valentin Roberge depart the club before the end of the current transfer window.
Finally, for all YouTube scouts out there, check out his highlights from 2013:
Stay tuned to Roker Report throughout January as we keep you up to date with his and all other transfer news and rumours. Also, feel free to keep in touch with our dedicated Transfer Centre, which you can do by CLICKING HERE.