Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet has told the Sunderland Echo that he is confident he can complete the signing of Fabio Borini -- despite the striker's apparent desire to stay at Liverpool.
Borini, 23, looked set to be heading for the Stadium of Light after the two clubs agreed a deal potentially worth up to 14 million pounds.
But Marco De Marchi, the striker's agent, told Italian media on Monday that Borini wanted to fight for his first-team place at Anfield.
The Italy international's decision to join Liverpool's preseason tour of the United States has also cast doubt on the transfer.
Poyet, though, still feels it will go through, saying: "I can assure you though that there is no disappointment on my part that it has not happened yet.
"It is normal. And with all respect to the media, they do not know everything that is going on. It is not for me to explain but it is not just a question of Fabio wanting to come or not.
"There are many, many things to look at and unfortunately I cannot comment on those. We are involved in negotiations and you never know how long that can take.
"There's nothing new to report as things stand but we are still hoping to close the deal completely."
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Borini scored 10 goals as he spent last season on loan at Sunderland, with several of them coming in key victories.
He endeared himself to Black Cats fans by scoring in home and away derby victories league over Newcastle, as well as hitting three goals in their run to the Capital One Cup final, in which they were beaten by Manchester City.
Arguably his most significant goal of last season, though, was the penalty that sealed a 2-1 Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge in April -- effectively ending Chelsea's title challenge and going a long way to securing Sunderland's top-flight survival.
Poyet added: "It's up to Fabio. We have been clear, everything is fine, there's no doubt about his connection with our club and me and him get along fine, so there is no reason for it not to happen.
"I would love to know how long it will take to sort out but all I can tell you is that things are changing every day.
"We have targets that we are looking for, we have other options, but we have an agreement with Liverpool and we will do everything possible to get Fabio to the club first.
"If Fabio does not come, it does not set us back, we would move on -- we are not a one-player team."