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Roundup: Stockdale to take over first team duties; Inter 'victory' reported in Alvarez case & More

Loads going on today. In the wake of Sunderland announcing they're putting a hold on the search for a manager, it appears Robbie Stockdale will take over first team duties for now & in Italy, reports are claiming Inter have won a final victory in the Ricky Alvarez case.

Robbie Stockdale to take over first team duties

As Sunderland announce their intent to put a hold on the search for a new manager until takeover discussions are concluded, it appears coach Robbie Stockdale will take over first team duties in the interim.

So says David Coverdale, north east reporter for The Sun who has been spot on with appointments and behind-the-scenes goings on at the Stadium of Light recently.

With assistant manager Paul Bracewell said to have departed as well as Chief Football Officer Simon Wilson, the next natural question on the back of a stalled hunt for a manager is to wonder who is in charge of footballing matters at the club.

Though with the players on holiday until 29th June, there won't be too much to deal with on the coaching side save for the usual raft of calls from agents and the like.

Stockdale has been with Sunderland since 2012 working his way up from youth team duties to head first team coach in 2015 - via a successful spell as Under-21 manager.

The 37-year-old had a brief stint as assistant to Kevin Ball when the club stalwart was installed as caretaker in the wake of Paulo Di Canio's sacking in 2013.

Rotherham United v Sunderland - Pre-Season Friendly
Robbie Stockdale
Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

The former Middlesbrough player has held his first team position under successive managers - Dick Advocaat, Sam Allardyce and latterly David Moyes.

Stockdale is often hailed as a popular figure amongst the playing squad and there have been suggestions of clubs pondering a move for him to make the break into management this summer.

Italians claim final victory in Alvarez saga - again

The case of Inter Milan vs Sunderland has rumbled on since the Argentine player left the Stadium of Light at the end of the 2014/15 season.

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Ricardo Alvarez (r) playing for Sunderland in 2014
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The dispute between the two clubs over an aborted permanent transfer in 2015 has already been heard at mediation with FIFA before being escalated to the Court of Arbitration in Sport last year.

The case was heard in December and following the initial hearing, both clubs announced they expected a verdict to be revealed in March of this year. Since then, all has been quiet.

But Italian media are today claiming victory for Internationale and suggest Sunderland have been forced to pay a fee of 10.5-million-euros, to be made in four installments.

The attacking midfielder was signed on loan by Gus Poyet in September 2014 on deadline day and made 13 appearances in a Sunderland shirt.

UC Sampdoria v Cagliari Calcio - TIM Cup
Alvarez has spent the last two seasons with Sampdoria who snapped him up as a free agent
Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

The deal between the two clubs included that if the Black Cats avoided relegation, Sunderland would be obliged to purchase Alvarez outright.

Sunderland refused to take up that option and counterclaimed that Internationale had failed to reveal the details of a knee injury the 29-year-old arrived with on Wearside, and argued the fact rendered any obligation to purchase Alvarez defunct.

It's difficult to track where the latest 'victory' claims originate though they have spread to EuroSport. Reports vary between quoting Italian daily sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport and, bizarrely, the BBC.

It's hardly the first time Italian media have claimed victory with on-and-off spells declaring Inter success spanning back to the start of the dispute, so watch this space.

Grayson commits to Preston

Freshly installed today as favourite for the manager's job at Sunderland - for whenever the hunt recommences, Simon Grayson has insisted he is "fully committed" to Preston North End.

Huddersfield Town v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship
Simon Grayson
Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Speaking to talkSPORT, the 47-year-old played down the possibility of moving to the Stadium of Light but left sufficient room to suggest he wouldn't completely rule it out:

As far as I'm concerned there's a lot of speculation about a lot of different jobs, but I'm fully committed to working out what we're doing for the season at Preston.

I don't consider it [the speculation] whatsoever until someone says different - whether it's Sunderland or any other job.

Grayson has been in charge at Deepdale since 2013 and has led Preston into the Championship from League One. The Lilywhites finished the season in 11th place last season.

Borini utters a few words on his future

Sunderland forward and Z-list media personality Fabio Borini was in Ibiza yesterday to open the island's Football Fan Fest event and said a few words on his future.

The 26-year-old is certain to leave the Stadium of Light this summer and has several suitors in Italy including AC Milan, Lazio and Bologna.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Premier League
Fabio Borini
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Asked about his intentions for next season and whether he is set to join Milan, admittedly Borini uttered little except to lay a delicious teaser on his adoring public:

Let's see what will happen during the next transfer window, you never know.

Earlier in the week, Turkish newspaper FotoSpor suggested Borini is also wanted by Galatasaray.

The Istanbul club have now been linked with Jeremain Lens, Papy Djilobodji, Adnan Januzaj, Wahbi Khazri and now Fabio from Sunderland's relegated squad. What a line-up that would be.

Shields derby

South Shields have announced they will take on a Sunderland XI in August in a testimonial match for striker Stephen Ramsey.

The 28-year-old has made over 300 appearances for the Marriners in a decade-long spell with the club but missed Shields' trip to Wembley last season after breaking his leg.

Stephen Ramsay

The game will take place at Marriners Park on Wednesday August 2nd.

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