Fabio Borini wants to be a Sunderland player, Gus Poyet has assured fans.
It has been a month since a fee was agreed with Liverpool to bring the popular Italian back to Wearside on a permanent deal, yet the deal has seemingly stalled from that point on, leading to massive frustration for all involved.
It has been reported that the cause in the delay has been Borini being unsure of whether or not he wanted to make the move, but Poyet has pleaded for calm, insisting that is NOT the case. He told reporters:
It's not the case [that Borini is opposed to the move]. I can assure every single supporter that is not the case. Please trust me.
I cannot tell you everything because it's not fair on anybody. But it's not like Borini doesn't want to come and we're trying to convince him.
I talked to Fabio and that is not the case. It's about doing it at the right time.
He's come back to fitness and training with the team. So he wouldn't be fit for tomorrow anyway.
So calm, please!
Just what is causing the delay is anyone's guess at this point. There have been rumours that Liverpool are unwilling to let Borini go until they have signed a replacement, whilst others have claimed his shoulder injury is the reason for the hold-up.
Interestingly, however, there is an almost identical situation occurring with Oussama Assaidi. Stoke City agreed a fee with Liverpool for the winger - who spent last season on loan with the Potters - some weeks ago yet have also been hit with a similar mysterious delay. It's certainly tempting to connect the two and wonder if there is some common denominator at the Liverpool end we don't know about.
Poyet added that he won't wait forever for Borini and confirmed that there was an alternative plan in mind, though he stopped short of putting a deadline on it:
I'm just not trying to put a deadline on it. We need a player in that position and we are ready to move on and have an option.
But of course, what happens if you move on and he's still available? It's a tricky situtation.
So... just to sum up... Fabio Borini might come back to Sunderland, he might not, he isn't yet, and we still don't know anything. Just a standard Borini update really. Thanks Gus!
In all seriousness, it sounds like better news than many were fearing. Hopefully the next 'update' will involve the AoL, a camera, a smiling Italian, a red and white shirt and a Sunderland scarf.