Rumours of Emanuele Giaccherini returning to Serie A have been cropping up almost since the Italian international was brought to the club by Roberto De Fanti, with stories usually appearing every time the midfielder returns home to Italy during international breaks.
Although those rumours have usually been rebuffed by the player's agent, Furio Valcareggi, who has insisted that the player is happy to remain with Sunderland, today his agent has admitted that he has held talks with Napoli's Sporting Director Riccardo Bigon over a possible move for Giaccherini.
Speaking to Radio CRC about Napoli's impending move for Sampdoria striker Manolo Gabbiadini, Valcareggi says he discussed a possible six-month loan deal for Giaccherini with Bigon after Lorenzo Insigne suffered a long-term knee injury;
I know that Gabbiadini is now a player of Napoli.
Giaccherini could be a solution, we talked with Napoli, there was a concern immediately after the injury of Insigne because I believe he is the ideal replacement for Lorenzo.
I spoke with Bigon as I often do, we discussed the loan of six months, any bonuses linked to the Champions League, but nothing has really come of it.
Valcareggi confirmed that Giaccherini, who is due to return to training tomorrow after missing the last couple of months with an injury, would respect his Sunderland contract, in part because a loan deal does not interest the player;
It looked like Giaccherini had suffered a minor injury but instead had a fractured tibia and thus lost two months, but tomorrow will return to training with the squad.
Will therefore remain at Sunderland, respecting the contract, partly because loan solutions do not interest us.
Hopefully the 29-year-old remains at Sunderland past the January transfer window, as despite his struggles to retain a place in the starting XI, he's one of the few players in the squad who is capable of that extra bit of quality that can open up defences.