Fabio Borini and Sunderland: what, in honesty, are we to believe?

Borini by Jake...
Borini by Jake…

Gus Poyet said the deal had been agreed. Brendan Rodgers likewise. People ‘close’ to Fabio Borini insisted he had no wish to rejoin Sunderland, this time permanently, and would hold out for a Serie A move or stick it out at Liverpool. Who knows? Rob Hutchison has the fan’s view ….

Since the news broke late Friday night that Sunderland had agreed a fee with Liverpool for Fabio Borini nerves have been jangling with rumours that the deal is on, off, on again and everything in between. Here’s a terrace look at what’s gone on. . . .

It was plain from the smug look worn by Lee Congerton in his SafSee interview a few days ago that he know far more than he was letting on. Acknowledging that we were talking to clubs every day he intimated that the club were working to make things happen.

It was nevertheless a shock when credible journos ITK said we’d agreed a fee rising to £14m with Liverpool for the loan star who had a terrific spell with us last season. Sources seemed solid and the broadsheets jumped on it, and it looked to be a done deal. But of course we’ve been here before, haven’t we.

A £13m fee agreed with Spurs for Robbie Keane came to absolutely nowt when the player announced he had no intention whatsoever of signing for Sunderland. The substantial fee we are offering Liverpool seems too good for Brendan Rogers to turn down.

In the scheme of things £10 – £11m plus add ons making up the £14m figure is probably the going rate for the lad. Proven quality at PL level with a splendid work ethic means we know exactly what we’re getting for our money with no bedding in or getting used to the PL required. He slots straight in, every week and compared to Ross McCormick or Brown Ideye who command similar initial fees, I know who I’d rather spend my money on.

So come Saturday and Borini still played what we thought would be his last game in a run out for an hour against Preston, whilst 5under1and thumped Darlo 1883.

Poyet and Rogers both confirmed a fee had been agreed and it was now down to personal terms. Borini is fiercely ambitious and I’m sure he sees himself as a player capable of holding his own in Champions League football, and possibly rightly so, as although he’s still only 23, we saw last season he’s developing at an alarming rate. With Liverpool spending the Suarez money like water on attacking replacements Rogers appears to be unable to offer Borini any guarantees in regards to match time, so when we upped our offer it was time for him to cash in.

This appears to leave the player with a dilemma. Stay and prove Rogers wrong by trying to play into the manager’s plans, or accept that it’s not gonna happen and go to the open arms of the northern masses who await his fabled return. Sources in Italy that claimed Fab was set to reject our offer and stick around were groundless said some wise voices and no need to worry it would all happen, and he wouldn’t be travelling to the USA on Sunday. Cue photos of him boarding the plane with his fellow players at lunchtime and nobody is the wiser. What to do?

For me the crux of this lies with Poyet. I find it nigh on impossible to believe that we would not have pursued the player without some intimation that there was a deal there to be had, and indeed Poyet’s comments to the press after the Darlo game echoed this sentiment. The Mail claims Borini may be holding out for an offer from an Italian CL club, but I can’t see any of those coming to the table. Whilst there’s still much to play for, my 2p worth is that we’ll see the lad back in a Sunderland shirt before the end of the transfer window. But then of course, this is Sunderland . .

* Does he fancy himself in the same league as SuperKev? Our friends and collaborators at Campo Retro are gearing up for the new season with ‘no garish sponsorship, gentle nod to history, prices from just £20’

SuperKev was priceless. Probably explains why this shirt is not among the £20 offfers!
SuperKev was priceless. Probably explains why this shirt is not among the £20 offfers!

40 thoughts on “Fabio Borini and Sunderland: what, in honesty, are we to believe?”

  1. The length of time this (and the Alonso saga) is dragging on must surely show why it is a good idea for someone other than the manager/coach to get involved in transfers, other than to identify players he would like and give his approval/disapproval to those suggested to him.

    There could easily come a time before the window closes that Gus has to settle for secondary targets to get his squad up to strength but at least we don’t seem to be signing a host of players at this point who won’t even feature in the team.

    I suspect his use of so many young players last night and perhaps later today is him casting his eye over which of them could possibly make the grade. Some must have the ability surely!

  2. There’a a lot of debate about this. Why haven’t we offered Danny Graham in a swap deal to Liverpool?

  3. There’s a lot been said about the fee, but it’s just the going rate isn’t it? Top end strikers are now £50 million and strong Premier League strikers are £25 million. Borini is worth £12 million it’s about right really.

    If the lad thinks he’s better than us then fair play to him for having genuine ambition. Think we’ll give it a few days then if not, move on. Aren’t we more in need of defenders anyway?

    • First off a fit Fletcher will be like having a new player.

      Secondly, it’s taken him time but maybe Wickham will now be able to play at this level. He’s proved he can do it so now needs to continue to do so. That’s like having two new players up front.

      Thirdly, I don’t know about fair play rules, wages caps etc but is it not possible that part of the proposed fee for Borini includes a sum that Liverpool could pay to Borini in compensation for lost income if he takes a wage cut? I assume if he warms the bench at Anfield or doesn’t even make the squad he still gets paid his contracted amount.

      Wish I was in a position to take a cut in income of £20 grand a week mind!

      I like Borini and what he did but if he doesn’t come (and I stll think we have to wait and see) I’m hopeful that Wickham, Fletcher and Giacherrini will play their part plus whoever else comes in.

      But I do think that if there is to be a transfer window, clubs should have their squads in place by the first day of the season, which would mean altering the transfer deadline dates.

    • I think we can afford to wait for Borini to make his mind up .If he has any sense he will come and get game time with us ,and if successful move on to a big Italian club.If we do pay £14 million for him we should build in a release clause of say £18 million so when he does go we are not out of

      My immediate concern is that we do not have enough defenders. I see we are actively pursuing Alonso,but what has happened to Vergini? We need at least one more full back and a couple of central defenders.

  4. I think Poyet is going to speak to him today. Liverpool accepted the bid but did’nt give us permission to talk to him straight away, so Liverpool are stalling, maybe because they want to get some player’s in first before they let him go.

    • Neither the Echo or BBC are reporting that Borini has rejected us, so fingers crossed, still think it will happen.

  5. I think you guys would be better off without him you could get a much better player for £14m he aint worth that. I’m looking forward to next season and a bit of banter with you lot, and of course geting revenge for the 6 points you “stole” off us last season. 🙂

    • He fits into the system though. That’s huge. Look at Giacherrini, all the credentials yet couldn’t find a role.

      Southampton paid a fortune for Osvaldo last season and he flopped, despite apparently being world class.

    • It’s a hell of a lot of money . But then you consider what we paid for wastes of space Gyan, Altidore and Graham it puts it into a different context .

  6. This is the modern way, no such thing as straight forward decisions from players anymore. Just cos he wanted to try and make it Liverpool shouldn’t put people off. It’s that self belief that makes him the player he is.

    As Colin says, there must be an indication he wants to sign or we wouldn’t have pursued it as aggressively as we have. All we can do is wait and see, all this second guessing will drive you insane.

    P.S Robbie Keane was going to sign but for a last gap intervention from Spurs.

    • Maybe this delay suits us and we’re in no hurry to complete the deal .We know he fits , he’s getting a pre season anyway and more importantly a months delay saves us a months wages , roughly £200,000 .

  7. Trouble is with £14 million on the table it rules out the possibility of another season here on loan if Borini wants to keep his options open . Can’t see Liverpool being seen to lose face in that manner even if we offered to pay he’s full wages for the year .

  8. Never know if it’s misinformation or disinformation….anyway in the silly season the combination of agents using social media sites to make mischief means we can’t take anything at face value.

    The £14 billion for Borini has to be put in the context of the substantial increase in Sky money…which his 10 goals helped achieve. So he comes or he doesn’t. Still wish him well for his 10 goals.

    Also we were happy enough taking £20 million for Jordan Henderson (apologies if I’ve got the figure wrong…). Can’t have it both ways. Thinks of it this way…Liverpool have given us Borini and £6 million for Jordan Henderson…maybe that helps those worried about the fee.

    In terms of attitude, my impression last season seas that he had commitment in bucket-loads. If he comes, he’ll deliver

    • Neil

      I like your thinking about financial comparisons. I think we did extremely well in our transfer dealings with Liverpool.

      I think Jordan Henderson is hugely over rated [ an average player in a good side ] I also think that we did very well in selling Mignolet, who’s limitations have been exposed with Liverpool [ I read that they are actively looking for a replacement ] I think we have two better ‘keepers who cost next to nothing.

      However, I still don’t think Borini is worth £14m.

  9. If Borini is as fiercely ambitious as they say, surely a clause in his contract allowing him to leave after 2 years should the “bigger” clubs come calling would make sense. I’m having a bit of “deja vu” here and I feel this transfer is panning out much like Darren Bent’s. Hopefully with the same end product. FAB…IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII…O.

  10. Good things come to those who wait . I admit it looks a bit strange with him jetting off to the States ,but in today’s Echo Poyet’s stating he was always going , no matter what . For what it’s worth Borini’s changed he’s twitter profile to a picture of him scoring for us in red n white . Whether that means he’s coming here or its he’s way of letting the fans down gently , we’ ll find out soon enough .We must have alternative targets though and discussions must be taking place .

    • Drummer

      Could it be that he used that particular photo because he hasn’t scored many in a Liverpool shirt?

      For what it is worth, I think he is over priced and over rated. He is a average PL player, and would only ever warm the bench at Liverpool, or any other top six club.

      I think Liverpool are taking the mickey, and I wish Gus would take this opportunity to withdraw.

      Personally I’d try for Jordan Rhodes.

  11. Just wait and see folks. I don’t think any of this suggests he doesn’t want to play for us. The machinations of agents and club representatives, holding out for the best deal (for themselves not the player perhaps) slows things down. This fuelled by the media leads to rumour and speculation.

    I don’t know how long it takes to sort out personal terms, and by the sound of it Borini is on a massive wage at Liverpool, but if it’s going to take a few days he’s better off training and playing in the States with Liverpool, than sitting at home with his X Box and his feet up. Negotiations will be continuing.

    Diakite, Roberge, Moberg-Karlsson and N’Diaye all played on Saturday and could well jet off to Portugal but that doesn’t mean they’ll be with us on September 1st.

    All this talk of “he’s made it clear he doesn’t want to come to Sunderland” worries me in the sense that if he does sign it could dilute the warmth of the reception he receives. Of course if he doesn’t sign he can probably expect the same sort of treatment as Darr£n B£nt but I haven’t seen any direct quotes saying he doesn’t want to. What I have seen is a player making the right noises saying he wants to make a success of his career at the club he is at – exactly what we would want any Sunderland player (like N’Diaye) to say.

    As Corporal Jones was wont to say “Don’t Panic!”

    • I like Borini – he’s very professional and wouldn’t have said straight out that he didn’t want to come back, but his comments after the Carling Cup and at the end of the season indicated that very strongly to me. I can completely understand that he wants to do what’s best for his career. If he does sign it’ll be because no better option came along … whether that would affect his motivation on the pitch is another matter.

  12. Does anyone else think that Borini has no intention of signimgng for us and that Liverpool have agreed a price with us knowing that, but really hoping that this might prompt one of the big Italian clubs to make a bid for him.

    That bid may well be less than the £14 million allegedly agreed with us …..but £10 million is better than nothing for a player who is surplus to their requirements.

    Ho hum…..Danny Graham anyone?

    • Just read that Juventus are interested in Borini…..told you so! Another example of a club being used as bait to solicit a bid from other clubs for a player surplus to requirements

  13. I cannot believe that we have negotiated a fee for player
    who doesn’t want to join us; what is the bleeding point?

    We’ve spent valuable time and energy on a fruitless chase. What kind of half-arsed operation does that? Surely the player was quietly sounded out about joining us, we had a season for that conversation to happen, for god’s sake!

    Only Sunderland could cock something like this up.

    Even if he does join us, it’s obvious his heart isn’t in it, if it was he would be in England waiting to sign, not jetting thousands of miles across the Atlantic. We need to withdraw the offer, tell him to sod off and get someone who wants to play for us.

  14. Borini must understand, ambition and potential add up to zero if you are on the bench every week. Similar to Lukaka good but not good enough to play every week. Borini got better last season because he played every week. Kenwyne Jones, Darren Bent, Phillips and many more have shunned the adoration thet received as Sunderland strikers only to dwindle and fail without it.

  15. Let’s face it, as much as I love Sunderland, it represents a step down for a lad who harbours ambitions of playing for a Champions League outfit. He’s also probably on higher wages there too.

  16. The reason why Borini is on the plane is that his agent has probably told him that the proposal offered by SAFC, with regards to personal terms i.e. wages, be ignored! I know the way agents work and he is holding out for higher wages, plain and simple. THe tennis game has started and Poyet is waiting for the call from Borini to say “Gee thanks, you really think i am a £14M?” With Gus replying yes, we think you are that good!” Tennis! The ball now unfortunately is in Sunderland’s court and it would seem that they are remaining silent as I believe the wage fee has already been mentioned. We all know that the wage cap at Sunderland borders on £50k a week, so Salut Sunderland, my brothers, do you really think that Sunderland are going to break the bank to pay for a player SAFC are churning out £14M for and further now priced at £14M which stimulates other suitors to come a calling and who is currently on wages far higher than any other player at Sunderland while currently playing for Liverpool. My spine was tingling when I read the headlines on Friday, but my head knows that Borini is NOT coming to Sunderland, it would be a dream but I think we need to look elsewhere i’m afraid. However, Fingers crossed.

    • Spot on!

      If he cost Liverpool £10m he will be on £50k already. Why should he come for the same wages or a miserly increase.

      As usual SAFC have walked into a situation with their eyes closed. NOT— Liverpool have given us permission to speak to the player BUT–Liverpool have accepted an offer of £14m. Why didn’t the club insist on confidentiality until the deal was over the line?

      Then we are left with egg on our face if he doesn’t sign.

      Naive and unprofessional. Surely Ellis Short has a badass negotiator he can second from his hedge fund business to compete with the Levy’s and their ilk.

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