Sunderland Transfers: Does Wickham Stance Mean Borini Deal Is Dead?

Club seem a little overly enthusiastic to keep the Englishman.

As expected, Sunderland have turned down West Ham's attempt to sign English striker Connor Wickham, but they've added a statement to that snub that might shock some Sunderland fans. Despite Wickham's status as largely a fringe figure - apart from the end of the season last term - Guy Poyet has openly stated that the club have no intention of selling him. This follows on from his assertion a couple of days ago that Wickham could be the perfect partner for Steven Fletcher, which suggests that Poyet has his first-choice strike-force chosen already. The question then - coming off the back of both of those bits of news - is how Fabio Borini would fit into that picture. If, as we are led to believe, Borini is still considering a move to Sunderland after Liverpool accepted a £14m bid, then the over-insistence on Wickham's importance seems a little odd. What is particularly odd is that Wickham is said to favour a move away from Wearside - which might not be surprising given his lack of first-team opportunities - and the fact that he is in the last year of his contract. To so definitively turn down a deal from West Ham within that context suggests that Poyet knows something that we don't, and reading between the lines the most likely answer is that Borini won't be heading to the Stadium Of Light. And then of course there's the fact that Sunderland have also bid £2.5m for Brighton's Will Buckley, which would mean they go into the season with four first team striking options (including Jozy Altidore). With that in mind, Borini looks even more in the dark. The latest from Poyet on the Italian was that his shoulder injury was being assessed, which had slowed things down, but if you were reading the signs, you might suggest that Sunderland have changed focus somewhat. Do you think Sunderland can still sign Fabio Borini? Share your thoughts below in the comments thread.
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