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Poyet: South American Duo Possibilities For Sunderland

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has confirmed his interest in a couple of reported targets is still ongoing.

Clive Mason

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Cristian Rodriguez and Santiago Vergini remain active transfer pursuits for Sunderland, with Gus Poyet confirming that signing both players are 'possibilities'.

Uruguayan Rodriguez has been linked with Sunderland for a while now, and last week Poyet was quoted on the radio in Montevideo confirming his intent to bring his countryman to Wearside from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.

That remains on the agenda. Poyet said:

This has been out for a few days and this week I had a chat with people in Uruguay, who are obviously desperate for Rodriguez to come with us.

It's ongoing. At the moment it's a possibility, but it's no more than that.

He's a player that I admire a lot because he's got power, desire and experience playing with the top teams.

Meanwhile, Santiago Vergini may well wind up back at Sunderland this summer after all.

The Argentinian became a popular figure at the Stadium of Light last season following his loan switch from Estudientes. Despite noticeably struggling initially with being thrust into the frantic centre of Sunderland's defence, Vergini shone at right back down the vital final stretch that secured the Black Cats' Premier League survival.

Since them, though, it had all gone very quiet on whether his presumed permanent switch to the north east would materialise. However, Poyet insists he is still eager for the move to go ahead and it was simply delayed, probably by Vergini helping in Argentina training sessions during the world cup.

Vergini is still ongoing. We started a bit late because of different issues. But, yes, it's still a possibility.

With Rodriguez a free transfer acquisition by Atletico two years ago and Vergini believed to be available for a cut-price fee, both players could represent very good value for the club, despite a certain stigma attached to integrating South American players into the Sunderland squad.

Recent years have seen Paulo Da Silva, Cristian Riveros and Marcos Angeleri totally flop on Wearside, and last season Nacho Scocco did little to reassure fans those days are over. Nevertheless, having a South American manager must surely help, and Vergini has contributed before, so it looks like both potential deals would represent solid gambles should they materialise.