Fabio Borini has dismissed suggestions he could be on the move in the January transfer window and hand his parent club a funds boost this month.
The Sunderland-owned forward is on loan at AC Milan but there were claims a couple of weeks ago that Torino are keen to sign him as new boss Walter Mazzarri plots a second half of the season bid to secure qualification for the Europa League.
Present at a sponsors event last night, Borini was asked outright if he expects to be on the move before the end of the month and responded with a short answer - “I’m away from Milan? There’s no reason to think so.”
The Black Cats loaned Borini to Milan with an obligation to purchase for a fee of £5.3m. The details of that payment have never been entirely clear but had been assumed to be payable at the end of the season.
That is not actually the case, and Milan negotiated hard for the transfer of the man Sunderland signed from Liverpool for a fee of around £7m with the potential to rise to £10m with add-ons.
The Rossoneri’s initial approaches for Borini were rejected by Sunderland but in the end, Milan paid a small loan fee and agreed to pay the player’s wages in full with three or four payments of the £5.3m to be wired to Wearside - starting in the summer of 2018.
Sunderland Chief Executive Martin Bain has already indicated Borini’s move to Milan being made a permanent one is a mere formality. If it was appearance-related, the clause has probably already been triggered with the attacker having started 15 games in Serie A this season.
But a change of manager at the Italian giants may have an impact on Borini’s future at Milan. A run of two wins in nine and a slump to mid-table cost Vincenzo Montella his job in November after a €200m summer transfer campaign had been expected to yield better.
Gennaro Gattuso has been installed as his replacement and exactly where the new boss will deploy Borini is unclear. Indeed, even the player himself was unsure when pressed last night:
I have to improve, I have often played out of position, this has stimulated me more. I can play in all three attack roles.
Borini has yet to score in the league but has provided three assists. The 26-year-old has been utilised in a variety of positions on the pitch including both flanks and from a wing-back position.