Sunderland have been dealt with a significant financial blow after being forced to settle a £335,000 claim with Velez Sarsfield over Ricky Alvarez, as per the Guardian.
The midfielder initially joined the Black Cats on loan from Inter Milan in 2014 but was only able to make 17 appearances for the club due to a serious knee injury.
After having a request turned down by Inter for Alvarez to undergo surgery, Sunderland tried to pull out of a mandatory agreement to sign the Argentine which resulted in the Italian side taking them to court over the issue.
Having lost this battle, the Black Cats were forced to pay a €10.5m fee despite the player no longer being on their books having joined Sampdoria in 2016.
Although the situation surrounding Alvarez had seemingly been resolved, Velez Sarsfield raised a claim under Fifa’s solidarity mechanism earlier this year, which allows clubs who have helped to develop players claim compensation.
After much deliberation, it was declared that Sunderland would have to pay the Argentine side a significant chunk of money.
In a statement on Velez Sarsfield’s official website (as cited by The Guardian), the club said: “After an arduous negotiation without results, Velez raised a claim before Fifa on 03/25/2019, obtaining the collection of its percentage under the solidarity mechanism of the amount that Sunderland were forced to pay Inter Milan for the value of the transfer.
“Thus, our institution obtained the sum of €362,500, a product of the efforts made by the legal team and the claim filed to Fifa.”
This is unquestionably bad news for Sunderland as paying such a large sum of money could now have a severe impact on their ability to bolster their squad between now and the end of the summer transfer window.
Whereas manager Jack Ross has been able to strengthen his options at the Stadium of Light in recent months by securing the services of five new players, a failure to win either of their opening two League One fixtures suggests that he may need to delve back into the market.
However, with the club already running on a tight budget (via ChronicleLive), this latest financial setback may force the Black Cats to switch their focus to bringing in temporary signings rather than making permanent additions.