Sunderland target Alonso faces Fiorentina return

Sunderland's Marcos Alonso and West Ham's Stewart Downing (right) contest a header.
Sunderland's Marcos Alonso and West Ham's Stewart Downing (right) contest a header.

SUNDERLAND face a test of patience in their pursuit of Marcos Alonso, with the defender poised to participate in Fiorentina’s pre-season training camp in a fortnight’s time.

The Black Cats are eager to beat off competition from Swansea and particularly West Ham to land Alonso on a permanent deal after the Spaniard’s successful loan spell at the Stadium of Light during the second half of last season.

Fiorentina have indicated that they have received concrete offers from both Sunderland and West Ham for Alonso, who has two years left to run on his contract in Serie A.

But Alonso’s performances during his five months on Wearside have not gone unnoticed by Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella and he wants to give the 23-year-old a second chance at the Viola’s 10-day training camp in northern Italy which begins on July 9.

Montella will assess whether Alonso can provide effective competition with Italian international Manuel Pasqual before deciding if he is surplus to requirements.

That leaves Sunderland facing the likelihood of returning to pre-season training at the end of next week without a recognised left-back on the books after the departures of Alonso and the out-of-contract Andrea Dossena at the end of last season.

Sunderland may also need to bide their time in the hunt for another of their main summer targets after Swansea skipper Ashley Williams was offered a new contract by the Welsh club.

Swansea rejected an offer of around £4million from Sunderland earlier this month for Williams, who is in the final 12 months of his contract at the Liberty Stadium.

That will not dissuade Sunderland, with the Black Cats ready to make an improved bid for the 29-year-old, who is also on the radar for QPR and Hull.

But Swansea have now presented Williams with a new deal which they are hopeful he will sign.

Crucially though, Williams has not yet accepted the fresh terms and that will give Sunderland hope that they can land the Welsh international.

Poyet is eager to land a new centre-half, with Carlos Cuellar released at the end of last season and French pair Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakite both considered surplus to requirements.

And with veterans John O’Shea and Wes Brown both in the final 12 months of their contracts, Williams is seen as the ideal candidate to reinforce Sunderland’s defence.

Sunderland have also reportedly made an enquiry over the availability of teenage Chelsea centre-half Kurt Zouma.

Chelsea splashed out £12million in January to sign Zouma, but allowed him to remain at former club Saint-Etienne on loan for the remainder of the season.

Sunderland are keen to take Zouma on a season-long loan, with the 19-year-old unlikely to be heavily involved in the first-time picture at Chelsea next year.