Fabio Borini's move from Liverpool to Sunderland was cast in doubt on Wednesday night, as the attacker injured his shoulder against Roma in Boston.
Dominic King of the Daily Mail reports that the player only lasted nine minutes of the preseason friendly at the famous Fenway Park, following a collision with Seydou Keita. Borini received treatment after the incident but soon signalled to the bench that he could not continue.
The Italian has been the subject of a £14 million bid from Sunderland, with whom he was on loan in 2013-14, per King. It is believed Liverpool have sanctioned the deal.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers spoke about the incident after his team's 1-0 defeat to the Serie A outfit and tried to alleviate fears about Borini's injury.
"It's not as bad as first thought," Rodgers said. "He has only bruised it. He will miss a few days. He won't train for the rest of the trip but it won't be anything serious and he will be okay. As for his future, we will see. We have had a significant bid from a Premier League club and it is something he is thinking about."
Borini's time with the Black Cats was viewed as a success last year, with the north-east club now pushing to make the transfer permanent.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet was positive about trying to acquire the player when he spoke on Wednesday about the possible move.
He said, per King:
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. 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.
The 23-year-old played for Poyet's side 32 times in the Premier League last year, per WhoScored.com, and hit seven goals in the process, proving to be one of the club's most potent assets.
He became vital to the club's relegation battle, which saw the team hold on to their Premier League status, five points clear of the relegation zone, per PremierLeague.com.
LiverpoolFC.com contributor and football writer Simon Steers advocated Borini's potential move to Sunderland, saying that any further time at Anfield would be a waste.
But despite Borini's displays for Sunderland, £14 million appears to be a very generous offer indeed. With Loic Remy joining the Anfield club for £8.5 million, per David Maddock of the Mirror, it would seem that Rodgers has instigated a fantastic piece of business.
Borini is a solid player, but his fee is flattering. Remy is a lethal striker with a very good record in front of goal and will most certainly score consistently for the Reds this season. However, Poyet clearly has faith in what the Italian brings to his team, and his importance appears to be highly valued.
Liverpool and Sunderland will both hope Borini's injury does not scupper the deal.