Last year, a Liverpool loanee had a strong second half to the season with Sunderland and the Black Cats subsequently attempted to get a permanent deal done for him. The him in question was Fabio Borini, who turned down a rumoured £15M deal and regular minutes for a spot on Liverpool’s bench—when he was lucky enough to make the matchday squad at all.
This year, it appears as though Sunderland will try again to land a Liverpool loanee who’s had a strong second half of the season. Rather than Borini, though, it’s Sebastian Coates the Black Cats want to bring into the fold as a full time member of the club. Hopefully, however it ends this time around, it ends better for all involved than Fabio Borini’s failed Sunderland move did a year ago.
Despite being brought in by fellow Uruguayan Gus Poyet, it wasn’t until Dick Advocaat took over in March that Coates began to see regular first team action. All told, he made 13 first team appearances last season, and the hope is that at 24 years of age and with a few seasons in England under his belt, Coates is now ready to become a regular starter somewhere in the Premier League.
If that isn’t with Sunderland, rumour has it that it could be with newly promoted Leicester City, whose scouts watched the Black Cats’ final games of the season in search of potential targets had Sunderland not survived. Sunderland did survive, but Coates has still emerged as a potential target for Nigel Pearson’s side, in part because there are questions in Sunderland circles over whether their club can afford Coates.
There is little doubt a deal for him can be struck with Liverpool, and after spending £7M on him in 2011, Liverpool appear ready to take a significant loss on Coates, and with only a year left on his current deal they have little bargaining power. However, Coates wages were high enough that Liverpool had to pay a portion of them to make his loan move possible this season.
The player, then, will likely have to take a pay cut for Sunderland to be able to afford him, though the presence of Leicester could help to drive up both his transfer fee and the wages he can demand. Reports from the Liverpool end suggest that, if a reasonable deal can be done, it is unlikely Coates will remain a Liverpool player beyond this summer.