JOZY Altidore joined Sunderland last night on a four-year deal after the club agreed a £6.5m transfer fee with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.
And more full internationals could soon be added in Paolo Di Canio’s Black Cats revolution.
The club is believed to be close to doing a deal for Juventus winger Emanuele Giaccherini, while progress is being made in the protracted signing of Argentina defender Gino Peruzzi.
Altidore – now with the Sunderland training camp in Italy – is the Black Cats’ EIGHTH signing of the summer.
Le Havre midfielder El-Hadji Ba, available on a Bosman, is also thought to be there awaiting the rubber-stamping of his move to Wearside.
Altidore joins Ba, Modibo Diakite, Cabral, Vito Mannone, Valentin Roberge, David Moberg Karlsson and Duncan Watmore as confirmed signings.
It’s a massive change in personnel, but it’s not stopping there.
Velez Sarsfield defender Peruzzi revealed it was him alone who turned down Sunderland’s personal terms earlier this week. But yesterday, he hinted a deal was still very much potentially on.
The 21-year-right-back said: “There was an agreement between both teams but I had to analyse my contract.
“Together with my family, we decided that it wasn’t what we expected, and that’s why we said no.
“It’s not true that my agent asked for a higher commission – those were lies.
“It’s the player who decides if he wants to be transferred or not, according to the contract that you are offered and for the moment I decided not to accept it.”
He was keen to stress, though, that the deal was not dead.
“It’s not that I don’t want to go to Sunderland – it’s a team in the Premier League, one of the most important leagues in Europe,” he said.
“I am willing to listen to a new proposal.”
That leaves the door open for Sunderland to clinch a deal for the player, who could yet arrive at the same time as Juventus’s Giaccherini.
The 28-year-old Italian does not fit the typical template of player Sunderland are looking at this summer – younger players with potential and with the likelihood of strong re-sale value.
But Giaccherini, who can play as a winger or an attacking midfielder, is clearly someone that captures Di Canio’s imagination – an interest enhanced by the player’s strong performances for Italy in the recent Confederations Cup.
And Sunderland are believed to have persuaded Juventus to let him leave by upping their initial offer of just over £6.5m to just under £8m.
Sunderland have looked to balance the books in terms of ins and outs, with the sales of Simon Mignolet and Ahmed Elmohamady while Titus Bramble and Matt Kilgallon were allowed to leave after the expiry of their contracts.
Phil Bardsley and Ji Dong-won are expected to follow them out of Sunderland’s exit doors soon. And more will follow, though the Echo understands the club will fight to keep unsettled Jack Colback at Sunderland.