Peruzzi expected to join Sunderland

Velez Sarsfield officials are confident Argentina international Gino Peruzzi will complete his protracted transfer to Sunderland after the Black Cats received assurances over the fullback’s fitness.

The 21-year-old Peruzzi was expected the sign with the Premier League club when he visited England last week, but his medical revealed concerns over a ligament injury suffered last season.

However, at the request of Sunderland, Peruzzi underwent further examinations and was cleared of any long-lasting damage.

And now that Peruzzi has been given the green light by the medics, his current Argentine club believe the deal will be signed once Sunderland officials return from the club’s pre-season tour of Asia.

“As reported earlier, during the week directors Baldomar and Ordonez travelled to England with the player Gino Peruzzi to advance negotiations over the latter's transfer to Sunderland,” read a statement on Velez's official website, www.velezsarsfield.com.ar.

“After agreeing contractual terms, the player underwent a medical examination.

“The professionals found repercussions from the torn ligament Peruzzi suffered last April against Olimpo in the Copa Argentina, which prompted a three-week absence from games.

“To obtain further information about the injury and its evolution, they made contact with Dr Ricard Coppolechia, who answered their questions.

“After this, Sunderland requested permission to subject Gino Peruzzi to a final evaluation at the Clinica Deportiva Villa Stuart in Rome, which is directed by the renowned Professor Pier Paolo Mariani.

“The evaluation had a positive result with Prof Mariani recommending specific work on the affected muscle area.

“Meanwhile, Sunderland had travelled to Hong Kong for some international matches, so the English club's authorities communicated their intention to sign the contract on the return of their president in the course of this week.

“Our club's entourage returned to Argentina on Sunday, anticipating that Gino Peruzzi will travel to England again in the coming days.”

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, Sunderland are preparing to face Premier League rivals Tottenham in the Barclays Asia Trophy.

The winner of that match will move through to the final where they will meet the winner of either Manchester City or South China FC, while the loser will meet earlier on the same day.

But despite admitting he always lusted after victory, Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio admitted the match was a better test of how his players were faring heading into the new season.

“Always I want to win in any game,” the Italian told SAFC TV. “Against Tottenham in front of most parts of the world on live television, the stadium is sold out...but it is more important for me to see my players in action.

“I am sure they are going to give their best because it's a big opportunity for all of them, and the new faces that we have, to see the improvement individually, but more importantly collectively against a top side.

“Ironically, we played the last game of the season against them. We know them approximately because they haven't changed a lot.

“It will be a good test. Obviously, we can't see, I presume, for both sides the incredible intensity straight away because we are in the middle of pre-season.

“But we will see straight away the desire, the attitude and the quality from both teams trying to beat each other.”