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Knee ligament damage scuppered the Argentine's original medical and prompted further tests in Rome, but the Black Cats are still keen on closing the deal for the fullback.

Sunderland is closing in on the signing of Velez Sarsfield fullback Gino Peruzzi despite the player failing initial medical tests, the Argentine club has confirmed.

Peruzzi has agreed in principle to join the Black Cats, and he travelled with Velez general managers Julio Baldomar and Eduardo Ordonez to England to further the negotiations. He was found to have an issue with his knee ligaments, which were initially damaged during a Copa Argentina defeat to Olimpo in April.

Sunderland insisted on further tests being carried out at the Villa Stuart Sport Clinic in Rome, but exercises of the affected area yielded positive results.

Black Cats manager Paolo Di Canio and his squad have travelled to Hong Kong to participate in the Barclays Asia Trophy, but club officials have indicated to Velez that the deal will be finalized later this week.

Di Canio has been busy re-shaping his squad during the offseason, as he looks to build on a 17th-place finish during the previous campaign. Peruzzi would become the Di Canio’s 10th signing of the transfer window, joining the likes of USA striker Jozy Altidore, Modibo Diakite and Emanuele Giaccherini in making the switch to the Stadium of Light.

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