Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has insisted Fabio Borini's transfer from Liverpool is still on.
Speaking after a 2-0 pre-season victory over Real Betis, the Uruguayan told BBC Sport that the £14m-rated Italian striker "ticks all the boxes".
The Black Cats agreed a fee with Liverpool, but negotiations were slowed by the 23-year-old's shoulder injury.
Poyet said: "We will keep working because we know him very well. I am still confident it will happen."
Borini, 23, spent last season on loan at Sunderland and helped them avoid relegation from the Premier League.
"We knew that after the injury it would take a little bit longer," Poyet added. "The longer it goes, of course you start looking for other options, because you have to - that's my job.
"But every time you take a step forward in something, you stop because we want Fabio."
In the friendly played at Bishop Auckland's Heritage Park, new £10m signing Jack Rodwell made his debut as late goals from Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham saw off the Spanish Segunda Division side.
Rodwell, 23, and Argentinean defender Santiago Vergini - who was making his first appearance of a second loan spell - played 45 minutes for the Black Cats.
Sunderland start their Premier League season at West Brom on 16 August.
Sunderland line-up: Mannone, Van Aanholt, Bridcutt, Larsson, Rodwell (Cattermole 45), Wickham, Johnson (Fletcher 66), O'Shea (Brown 49), Giaccherini (Gomez 37), Vergini (Mavrias 45), Roberge.