According to reports in Italy, Torino have identified Sunderland’s Fabio Borini as their top target in the January transfer window - the only problem being, of course, that the attacker is currently tied into a season-long loan deal with AC Milan.
The lure of raising some much-needed cash could entice Sunderland into negotiating a deal between the two Italian clubs though, in order to properly resolve the forward’s future sooner than originally anticipated.
There is a suggestion that new Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso is unlikely to favour Borini going forward and will be looking for new faces this month. With half of the Italian season now completed, Il Rossoneri find themselves slumped in mid-table, 23 points behind Serie A leaders Napoli.
A run of two wins in nine cost previous manager Vincenzo Montella his job - the man who signed Borini in the summer. Milan took the 26-year-old on loan from Sunderland with an obligation to buy him for a fee of £5.3m, payable at the end of the season.
Presumably if Milan were willing to cut short Borini’s loan deal and allow the Black Cats to recall him in order to enable a sale, Torino would be able to land their man this month.
And that could swell Chris Coleman’s empty coffers as Sunderland attempt to refashion the squad presently bottom of the Championship on a seriously tight budget.
The Black Cats boss has indicated he will have to rely on loans or freebies in the January window and will only receive a percentage of the funds raised from any players sales.
Borini has started fifteen of Milan’s nineteen league games this season and has proved his ‘usefulness’ in turning out in positions all over the pitch. The Sunderland-owned man has featured on the left and the right wing in an equal number of fixtures as well as at wing-back and as a second striker.
Italians are joking it’s only a matter of time before he dons a pair of goalkeeping gloves but that resourcefulness could ultimately prove to be the catalyst for his departure from Milan. Fans of the Serie A club expect to be entertained by a certain calibre of player rather than applauding a try-hard jack-of-all-trades.
The Torino link appears to have originated in one Italian outlet and then spread far and wide, so there may be little in it. Walter Mazzarri was only appointed as manager of the Turin outfit last week. The former Watford boss replaced Sinisa Mihajlovic with the club still harbouring ambitions of reaching the Europa League.