EMANUELE GIACCHERINI is determined to make a success of his second season at Sunderland, with no truth to suggestions that he is a target for Galatasaray.
Giaccherini started just 16 Premier League games in his maiden campaign on Wearside after Sunderland splashed out almost £7million on the Italian international 12 months ago.
The 29-year-old has insisted in his homeland throughout the summer that he still wants to prove himself at Sunderland after making a contribution from the bench during the final six games which saw the Black Cats beat the drop.
But that has not stopped the speculation over Giaccherini’s future, with Roma strongly linked to the former Juventus man and reports in Italy yesterday suggesting new Galatasary boss - ex-national team manager Cesare Prandelli - was targeting him.
Giaccherini’s agent, Furio Valcareggi, has rubbished the speculation though and insists the midfielder is enjoying life under Gus Poyet.
Valcareggi told the Echo: “Giaccherini wants to stay at Sunderland a lot and stay in the team.
“He hopes to have fewer difficulties than last season. The talk about Galatasaray is an invention.”
Poyet, himself, remains a big fan of Giaccherini, yet has admitted he has struggled to find a position to bring the best out of the player, who has another three years to run on his Sunderland contract.
But the head coach hopes Giaccherini’s impact as a substitute is a sign that he has become more attuned to the demands of English football.
Sunderland’s focus is on strengthening their midfield options, rather than depleting them further, after the departures of Jack Colback, Craig Gardner and Ki Sung-Yueng at the end of last season.
Bosman signing Jordi Gomez has trained with his new team-mates for the first time this week, while Sunderland are also hoping to beat off competition from Everton to land Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell.
But there has been no significant progress in Sunderland’s pursuit of one of their main targets, Cardiff City’s Jordon Mutch.
The England Under-21 international was one of 11 players left out of Cardiff’s opening pre-season friendly on Monday night and that sparked speculation over whether a move to Sunderland was imminent for the 22-year-old.
But Cardiff sources insists Mutch’s potential departure has not moved further along, with the Bluebirds looking for a £5million fee for the former Birmingham City youngster.