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Mavrias Doesn't Fancy Panathinaikos Return

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Greek winger Charis Mavrias has so far failed to establish himself at the Stadium of Light, but considers a mooted move back to his homeland as a big step backwards in his career.

Mavrias in action during Sunderland's pre-season preparations
Mavrias in action during Sunderland's pre-season preparations
Richard Sellers/Getty Images

Greek international wide-man Charis Mavrias is being strongly linked with a temporary return to previous club Panathinaikos, where he left to join Sunderland in a £2million deal just over a year ago,

The Athens-based outfit have been monitoring Mavrias' situation closely and may be about to make a move on a young player they rate very highly.

Still only 20 years of age, the promising winger has plenty of time to prove his worth to Sunderland manager Gus Poyet and will surely feel capable of making his mark on the Premier League if handed an opportunity to do so.

His form in pre-season even prompted Poyet to suggest during a September news conference that the Greece star, nicknamed 'Harry' by his team-mates, was not available for transfer:

"We had one or two enquiries last year.

"At the moment, nothing.

"Harry trains 100 per cent every single day.

"He’s a great example. He’s not in the team, but he’s there.

"He knows he needs to be fit and be ready for any chances or anything that happens."

However, with the imminent return to fitness of Emanuele Giaccherini and Ricky Alvarez, plus further stiff competition in the wide areas from the likes of Connor Wickham, Will Buckley and Adam Johnson, chances would appear limited for Mavrias to impress at this stage of the season.

Representatives of the winger are wary of negotiating a deal with a club Mavrias originally departed in order to progress his career onto another level.

With Greek club football on its knees financially, it's unclear whether Pana could even afford the loan fee which they'd be forced to fork out in a bid to secure the services of their youth team product.

There is expected to be firm interest from a variety of clubs in the Championship, with Reading understood to have expressed an interest in taking Mavrias on loan last January.

It remains to be seen whether Gus Poyet will be willing to permanently part with a player he obviously considers to have a future in the game, but a short-term switch appears highly likely to happen.