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Milan swoop in for Borini & Celtic confirmed as showpiece pre-season friendly

All talk this morning has been about Fabio Borini, with a supposed late swoop from AC Milan to usurp Lazio's bidding for the Sunderland forward. And the long-rumoured pre-season friendly with Celtic has finally been confirmed.

Sunderland fans at Celtic Park
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Fabio Borini latest

According to now widespread reports, AC Milan have swooped for Fabio Borini, with the Sunderland forward set for a medical with the Serie A giant tomorrow.

It appears that the Italian may never be seen again on Wearside with suggestions he won't be reporting for duty with the rest of the squad tomorrow as pre-season preparations commence.

The news originated of AC Milan's pounce for Borini in this morning's edition of La Gazetta dello Sport and within minutes had spread to Sky Sports Italia and various media outlets over here.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League
Borini in his final appearance for Sunderland against Chelsea
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Borini had been said to be on the verge of signing for Lazio in an initial loan deal with an option to buy.

However, there have been suggestions that the player who previously turned out for Roma was holding out for Milan and had doubts about signing for the city rival to the Rome club he spent a season at five years ago.

Indeed Borini has a long-held affection for Roma and it's only a few months since he spent an afternoon in London with a Giallorossi supporters branch to take in a Serie A match in which his previous club were playing.

Reports are still claiming Milan will pay roughly the same as Lazio were offering - an initial £1million loan fee with a view to a permanent deal for £5.3million at the end of next season.

After an improvement in Sunderland's fortunes in selling players for profit in recent months with the transfers of Patrick van Aanholt and Jordan Pickford, Borini's sale will likely see a slump in that trend again.

The Italian was signed in 2015 in a deal worth up to £10m so Sunderland will lose a few million quid on this sale and with further losses likely on Jeremain Lens and Wahbi Khazri, the costs of relegation continue to mount.


Celtic confirmed for July 29th

Scottish treble winners Celtic have been confirmed as the visitors for Sunderland's showpiece friendly to take place at the end of July.

Brendan Rodgers will bring his champions to the Stadium of Light on Saturday 29th in a friendly to mark the 20th anniversary of the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland v Southampton - Premier League
The Stadium of Light
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The 3pm kick-off will be the first pre-season friendly to be staged on Wearside since 2008 and completes the warm-up fixtures for the manager-less Black Cats as they prepare for life in the Championship.

Friday 7th July - Bury, 19.30 Gigg Lane

Sunday 9th July - Hibernian FC, 14.00 Easter Road

Wednesday 12th July - Livingston FC, 19.45 Almondvale Stadium

Saturday 15th July - St Johnstone FC, 15.00 McDiarmid Park

Saturday 22nd July - Bradford City, 15.00 Valley Parade

Wednesday 26th July - Scunthorpe United, 19.30 Glanford Park

Saturday 29th July - Celtic, 15.00 Stadium of Light

Sunderland last faced the Glasgow giants in a friendly back in August 2009 when goals from Kieran Richardson and Kenwyne Jones gave Steve Bruce an early victory after being unveiled as the Black Cats boss a few weeks' earlier.

Bruce brought on two new signings that day in Lorik Cana and Frazier Campbell as Celtic warmed up for the second leg of a Champions League qualifier against Dinamo Moscow.

There have long been rumours that Ajax would be the visitors to celebrate the Stadium of Light entering its third decade as the home of Sunderland but Celtic should provide a cracking test with the Championship season kicking off just a week later.