BRAZILIAN club Internacional are looking for a fee in excess of £5million for Sunderland target Nacho Scocco.
Scocco is one of three Argentine players on Sunderland’s radar, with the Black Cats keeping tabs on both the winger and Catania goalkeeper Mariano Andujar, while they look to finalise a deal for centre-half Santiago Vergini.
Sunderland made enquiries over Scocco’s availability during the summer, after he netted 30 times during 46 appearances in a loan spell at Argentine side Newell’s Old Boys, before he joined Internacional in a deal worth around £4m. But after a fall-out at the Brazilian outfit, Scocco is expected to be on the move again this month, with both the 28-year-old’s agent and his father confirming Sunderland’s interest.
Sources close to Internacional have indicated that the club want to more than recoup their outlay on the one-time Argentine international though and are looking for a fee of more than £5m.
Sunderland, who cannot sign any more players on loan, would be wary of splashing out such a hefty figure, with the club’s league position so precarious and their Premier League status in such significant jeopardy.
But the Echo understands that Sunderland, who were yesterday linked with a move for Catania’s Argentinian striker Maxi Lopez, are working on adding to their attacking arsenal this month and have made headway with an overseas target.
Internacional’s asking price has scuppered Scocco’s chances of moving to his homeland, either with River Plate or Newell’s Old Boys.
But despite Scocco’s agent indicating interest from La Liga outfit Valencia, Sunderland are thought to be the only European club who have made a formal enquiry with Internacional.
The deal for Vergini is far more advanced, with Sunderland hopeful of tying up the formalities of the £500,000 deal.
Vergini is still in Argentina, as he looks to reach a settlement with his club Estudiantes before finalising his switch to the Stadium of Light.
But sources close to the 25-year-old remain confident that the move will be signed and sealed in the next few days.
Meanwhile, Brighton boss Oscar Garcia insists the Seagulls are keen to keep Liam Bridcutt at the club despite the midfielder submitting a transfer request last week.
Bridcutt, who missed Saturday’s victory over Birmingham with a groin problem, asked to leave the Amex Stadium after Sunderland saw a bid of around £2million rejected for the 24-year-old.
When asked whether Bridcutt would still be at the club at the end of the window, Garcia said: “I don’t think anybody can say that about any player, maybe Messi or Ronaldo, but all the other players have a price. But we want to keep him because he is one of our main players.”