The future of reported Sunderland striker target Ignaccio Scocco appears to be no nearer to being decided despite a lengthy meeting between the player's agent and Internacional.
Reports in Argentina claim that Inter have ruled out a loan move for now whilst Sunderland are unwilling to invest a hefty chunk of cash on a 28-year-old player. Meanwhile, Cardiff City have been mentioned as a possible alternative destination.
Inter vice-president Marcelo Medeiros said after the meeting:
We met with Scocco's representatives, but the proposals were not good. Proposals are teams that want to do a loan deal, and our goal is to sell Scocco.
See what tomorrow brings.
At first glance it all seems very infuriating for fans. It will no doubt raise accusations of penny pinching, cost cutting and the like whilst a relegation rival steals in and nabs him as we squabble over pennies, etc. That would probably be quite harsh, though.
First of all, I am not all that sure how far our interest in the player stretches. Gus Poyet has both mentioned him as a possible target and played down reports that he is being actively pursued.
It wouldn't be a surprise if what we are seeing played out here is a little bit of brinksmanship. Sunderland aren't sufficiently convinced Scocco will settle quickly enough in England to justify a big transfer fee and contract now, so are hoping that Inter run out of options late in the transfer window and settle for an initial loan instead.
It is also slightly suspicious that Cardiff's name - the one club below Sunderland in the league - has been suddenly thrown up. You know, as if it was deliberately designed to try and put the pressure on.
And all that is even if he is a solid target at all. The impression we have always got is that it is mostly agent-driven and we might be interested if the deal is right.
I think it boils down to how much of a gambler you are really. Lay down the cash and secure him now or try to wait it out and get the deal you actually want? Some would say Sunderland's position makes brinksmanship too high a stakes game to play. Personally, I say gambling is always easier with other people's money.
Decide for yourselves where you stand!