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Sunderland Beat Inter Milan in Borini Bidding War

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Fabio Borini looks set to seal a switch to Sunderland—though a late bid from Fiorentina could still arrive—after the Black Cats won a surprise bidding war for the Liverpool spare part.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

After a year spent on the bench and three largely underwhelming seasons in England, Liverpool fans hadn’t expected to get much for Fabio Borini this summer on the transfer market. That’s assuming the club were even able to move the surplus striker on a year after he resisted attempts to send him to QPR and Sunderland.

According to reports from journalists with ties to Liverpool, though, the bidding for Borini became heated as the current transfer window neared its end. Inter Milan reportedly bid £6M for the striker, but Liverpool held out for more. Watford then lodged a £7M bid, but Liverpool stood firm. In the end, Sunderland stepped up with a base £8M offer. And Liverpool agreed.

There may be question marks on the pitch and surrounding the manager as the transfer window winds down, but it’s difficult to question the club’s dealings off it any more, and getting a guaranteed £8M for Borini—with potential add-ons to bring that number to £10M—after a season spent on the bench and it clear the club didn’t want him has to be seen as something of a coup.

In fact, it’s hardly less than the club paid for Borini back when they brought him to the club for £10.5M in the summer of 2012, one of Brendan Rodgers’ two hand-picked early signings—along with Joe Allen—brought in before the club had established a scouting staff or transfer committee. For an unwanted player who has mostly stagnated for three years, that’s amazing.

Though despite reports a medical is under way, the saga might not be over quite yet, with rumours Fiorentina haven’t abandoned the chase entirely and could still match Sunderland’s bid. Fiorentina had previously been linked with Borini, and it was widely reported they were his preferred destination, but at the time they hadn’t been willing to go past the £6M also on offer from Inter.

Under other circumstances, Borini might hold out in the hope a raised bid from the Serie A side would come in, but it appears he has reached the point where playing next season is the priority, having decided he can no longer risk holding out for his preferred move and risking ending up stuck at Liverpool for another year.