• Dutch defender has played only nine times for the Blues
• Player spent last season on loan with Vitesse
Patrick van Aanholt is on the brink of swapping Chelsea for Sunderland. The 23-year-old Holland left-back is expected to complete the transfer by Saturday at the latest before joining Gus Poyet’s squad at their pre-season training camp in Portugal.
Van Aanholt, a youngster at Stamford Bridge when Lee Congerton, now Sunderland’s sporting director, was Chelsea’s chief scout, has spent the last two-and-a-half seasons on loan at Vitesse in his home country.
It is the fifth loan stint he has experienced during a career which has featured only nine senior appearances for Chelsea but, having been frustrated in a long-running pursuit of Fiorentina’s Marcos Alonso, Sunderland feel he can establish himself as a regular first-teamer. The fee is unknown but Van Aanholt has only a year remaining on his contract in west London.
In an ideal world Poyet would like both Alonso and Van Aanholt in his squad but at least Sunderland’s manager is close to a transfer market breakthrough at a time when he acknowledges his hopes of signing Fabio Borini from Liverpool are fading. Although the Anfield board has accepted Sunderland’s £14m bid, the forward is taking time to agree to the deal and is understood to be minded to remain on Merseyside.
Poyet, who remains keen on potential loan deals for Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma and Manchester City’s Jack Rodwell, is also monitoring Cristian Rodríguez, the Atlético Madrid and Uruguay winger. “It’s ongoing,” Poyet said. “At the moment, it’s a possibility, but it’s no more than that. He’s a player that I admire a lot because he’s got power, desire and experience playing with the top teams. He wants to play football, he’s desperate to be playing week in, week out.”
Meanwhile, Ignacio Scocco has returned to Argentina to join Newell’s Old Boys after it became clear his £3.2m transfer to Sunderland from Internacional of Brazil last January had not worked out as envisaged. The Wearsiders have accepted a small loss on the striker’s sale in order to remove Scocco from their payroll.