As reported earlier this week, Sunderland believe that they have a get-out clause to avoid spending a chunk of their summer budget on last season’s loanee Alvarez, with the Argentine international facing a long-term spell on the sidelines.
When Alvarez arrived from Inter on a season-long loan last summer, there was a clause in the deal for Sunderland to sign him permanently if the Black Cats were able to remain in the Premier League.
But Alvarez is now facing surgery on the knee injury which limited him to just five Premier League starts in red and white and Sunderland are confident there is a legal avenue in the loan contract to pull out of the big money move.
However, Inter continue to argue the opposite, with sporting director Piero Ausilio adamant that Alvarez is now a Sunderland player.
“It’s very simple, there are no concerns on our part,” he told the Italian press.
“We made an agreement, a transfer with Sunderland.
“For us, he is absolutely a Sunderland player.
“Sunderland stayed up, that was the only condition.
“Everything else is just speculation that I have read, but I’m not interested in that.”
If the two clubs remain at loggerheads, then the likelihood is that FIFA will have to intervene as arbitrators over the transfer.
Alvarez was restricted to a bit-part role for the campaign and now requires an operation on a knee problem.