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20th Dec 2016

Sunderland could have to pay €10m for a winger who will never play for them

Moyes really can't catch a break...

Robert Redmond

Sunderland have been a bit of a mess for a few years.

The Black Cats have been in the Premier League for almost 10 years, and have spent a lot of money on transfers. However, despite having a higher wage bill than almost half the division, they always find themselves in a relegation battle.

This year is no exception, and the club are currently in 18th place, a point behind Crystal Palace, but with a significantly worse goal difference and with no money to spend in January.

David Moyes said last week that he wouldn’t even be able to sign players on-loan next month, and that he would have thought twice about taking the manager’s position if he knew about the financial restraints being imposed.

This bizarre situation involving an Argentine winger may explain why the Black Cats won’t be splashing out in January.

UC Sampdoria v Cagliari Calcio - TIM Cup

Sunderland face paying Inter Milan €10m for a player who they will not own.

Ricky Alvarez spent the 2014/2015 season on-loan at the Black Cats, after being signed by Gus Poyet, but didn’t set the world alight.

The 28-year-old made 17 appearances, and just five starts, and was seemingly just another of Sunderland’s many signings not to make the cut before departing to little fanfare, never to be heard of again.

However, there was a clause in his contract which stated that, should Sunderland avoid relegation that season, which they did, they would have to buy Alvarez for an agreed price of €10m.

They instead decided they wouldn’t like to sign Alvarez on a permanent deal. Inter weren’t happy and took Sunderland to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The verdict will be delivered next year, and Sunderland are preparing for the worst.

“It (the hearing) was meant to last a day, it didn’t, it ran over,” Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain said.

“Submissions are now due in at the beginning of February to complete and then I understand that by the middle of March, there’ll be a decision by CAS.”

Meanwhile, Alvarez is currently playing for Sampdoria, and that sound you hear is poor Moysie weeping as his transfer fund gets put aside for a player he’ll never get to use.