Sunderland are interested in signing Tigre defender Lucas Orban, the player’s agent has confirmed.
Filippo Colasanto says that the Premier League side first made their interest known two months ago but a deal is not close to happening.
“The news of the interest of Sunderland is in the British media and is attracting attention here with us because Lucas was approached on several occasions to various teams in our league,” Colasanto told calcionews24.com.
“Unfortunately we cannot say that the boy is a step away from signing up for the English club. I was contacted by Sunderland two months ago by the new director of football for the English club [Roberto De Fanti] and he asked me what the situation of the player was, they wanted to take him as soon as possible.”
Orban is understood to also be interesting Valencia and a number of sides in France. Asked if there had been a specific hold up in completing a deal Colasanto replied: “No, no problem. The club introduced me to an important project and had concrete interest in the boy, with a very good offer that I sent to the father of Lucas.
“Now he's playing the latest games of the season and his head is centred on this. The many rumours going around do nothing but fuel confusion. To date, concrete, there is the offer of Sunderland to Tigre to acquire the player. Everything else for the moment does not count.”
Crediting the conduct of Paolo Di Canio and his staff during the negotiation process, Colasanto said that having first made an enquiry for the player some months ago, they are unlikely to maintain their interest forever and that a decision will be required soon.
“It should be said about the leaders of Sunderland that they have behaved like truly great men.” he said. “They have put in writing their intentions and, from the chairman to Di Canio in person, have said all important words for the player in order to fully perceive the enthusiasm that you have brought this guy.
“So far, the club holds the door open for Orban. Unfortunately it will not be that way forever, because the market is open and they have to fill the role. He is the first choice, but they turn to the names of possible alternatives and, as soon as possible, the English club will rightly make a choice. I hope that at that point Lucas will be ready to reciprocate the attention received so far from the Black Cats.”
Meanwhile, reports in Italy claim that Sunderland are edging closer to a deal for Lazio full-back Luis Pedro Cavanda.
In the final year of his contract and unable to agree fresh terms, the 22-year-old was dropped from the first team and considered attempting to have his contract annulled in the same way Goran Pandev did in 2010.
With the situation set to go to an arbitration panel on Saturday, Lazio want around £4.3 million for the player, with Sunderland’s first offer thought to be in the region of £2.5 million.