Liverpool ready to sell Sunderland target

Sunderland could still secure a permanent deal for Fabio Borini, but reports from the Northern Echo suggest that they will have to pay Liverpool over £10.5m to do so.

The Italy international spent last season on loan at the Stadium of Light, where he starred as the Black Cats avoided relegation and made an appearance in the Capital One Cup Final.

But since then he has returned to Anfield – where he played in an end of season friendly – and has been tipped to feature heavily for the Reds next season as they plot to balance Champions League football with domestic action.

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However the signing of Rickie Lambert from Southampton has thrown Borini’s future into doubt, with the England World Cup star set to be first in line behind Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.

Reports indicate that if a fee of £10.5m or above – the sum paid for the versatile attacker in 2012 – is received, then Liverpool may well consider selling.

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet is known to be a huge fan of Borini after using him as his side completed a miraculous late season surge to avoid the drop, but he may be reluctant to bid as high as the Merseysiders are asking.

The 23-year-old netted 10 goals while in the North East.