SUNDERLAND are closing in on a deal for Greek winger Charas Mavrias, as the Black Cats continue their strategy of targeting promising overseas youngsters, writes Chris Young.
The appointment of director of football Roberto De Fanti and chief scout Valentino Angeloni has seen Sunderland prioritise players with potential for the future.
Left-back Benjamin Mendy, 18, could be unveiled by Sunderland today, while Gino Peruzzi, 21, is also on the verge of finalising his switch to the Stadium of Light.
Panathinaikos wideman Mavrias, 19, is the latest player on Sunderland’s radar, with reports in Greece suggesting a deal with the Black Cats could be rubber-stamped over the next 24 hours.
Cash-strapped Panathinaikos have confirmed they have accepted an offer around £2.5million - plus add-ons - for Mavrias after placing a price tag around the £6m mark on him last season.
Sunderland’s acceptable offer is reportedly around £1m less than their initial bid after holding talks with Panathinaikos director and former Newcastle United defender Nikos Dabizas last month.
But personal terms are unlikely to be an issue, with Mavrias understood to be eager at the prospect of moving to the Premier League.
And if Sunderland can complete the move, it will represent something of a bargain, with sources in Greece suggesting Mavrias is one of the country’s brightest prospects, along with Bayer Leverkusen’s Kostas Stafylidis and Panathinaikos keeper Stefanos Kapino.
Italian giants Juventus saw a £2m offer for the winger rejected last season, while Angeloni scouted him for Inter Milan - as he did with Peruzzi and Mendy - but fell short of making a concrete offer.
Mavrias is not expected to immediately be in contention for a spot in Sunderland’s starting XI though, with the teenager still regarded as a raw talent.