If anyone was expecting Fabio Borini's proposed move to Sunderland to be quick and simple then it may be time to think again. The Italian has been included in the Liverpool squad that has jetted off to America for a pre-season tour.
The #LFC squad are ready for the 2014 Tour @LFCUSA #LFCTour pic.twitter.com/cPvviXlf08— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 20, 2014
Both Brendan Rodgers and Gus Poyet have confirmed that a fee has been agreed, though, amid reports that Borini is not interested in a move back to the north east, this development will obviously throw into doubt the possibility of Sunderland completing the deal.
Whether or not it should, I'm not too sure. I suspect not, though the assertion that Borini fancies his chances of proving himself at a level far above Sunderland is not a difficult one to believe. It was evident from his time here last season that he is a driven and confident character. It was part of what endeared him so much to the fans.
However, we should we wary of jumping to conclusions. The Borini story originated from some journalists very close to the Anfield club and the same people are saying that the player is keen on the move. Some, in fact, are saying he is driving the move. The local north east press too, who will be drawing information from Sunderland, seem very confident too.
It may be that Liverpool want to secure a replacement - Loic Remy has been strongly linked - before giving Sunderland official permission to speak to the player. That would tally with Poyet's comments after the 5-1 friendly win over Darlington:
We are now waiting for correspondence, and we will go from there. We're just waiting.
It's an ongoing thing. We've done the steps that we needed to do properly, but the next step is that we are still waiting for the correspondence. Then we will go on from there, doing everything official, in the right way.
Also, it is worth remembering that Liverpool players have left foreign tours in the past to sign elsewhere, and the agent would be doing most of the work anyway. It's not as if Borini would need to be shown the training ground and area.
So, basically, we don't know what is going on. People can, and will draw their own conclusions. I'm not sure this latest development, if you can call it that, really adds as much to the existing narrative as it first appears to, though.