Sunderland have completed the permanent signing of Fabio Borini from Liverpool, with the Italian striker set to return to Wearside on a four-year contract.
Borini, 24, was always expected to depart Anfield before this summer's transfer deadline after making just 25 total appearances in the Premier League during a hugely frustrating three-year spell under Brendan Rodgers. He is already a popular figure at the Stadium of Light, of course, having notched 10 goals for the club during a successful season-long loan spell in 2013/14.
Although no official transfer fee has been disclosed by either club, The Guardian believes the deal to be worth in the region of £7m ($10.7m). Newly promoted Watford were also believed to have held a serious interest in the former Swansea forward, along with Serie A duo Fiorentina and Inter Milan.
Upon confirmation of his return, Borini told Sunderland's official website: "I am delighted to be back at Sunderland. It is a club I know really well from my time here previously. It will be emotional for me to play at the Stadium of Light again and I can't wait to get back on the pitch as a Sunderland player."
After helping the Black Cats to retain their Premier League status with one match to spare last term, Dick Advocaat has endured a difficult start to his first full season in charge of the club. An opening day humbling at Leicester was followed by a dismal home defeat at the hands of Norwich and Sunderland's only win thus far came with an eventful 6-3 victory over League Two outfit Exeter City on 25 August.
They did at least display a certain degree of resilience to secure draws against Swansea and Aston Villa, but Advocaat will be hoping the addition of Borini, who supposedly rejected the chance to sign for Sunderland last summer, will improve his team's ailing fortunes.
"Fabio is a great addition to the squad who will make our front line stronger," the Dutchman said. "He can play in a number of attacking positions which is a huge benefit to the team."
Borini is the seventh player signed by Advocaat during the current transfer window, joining the likes of Jermain Lens, Yann M'Vila, Younes Kaboul, Adam Matthews and Ola Toivonen. He is also the first of three departures confirmed by Liverpool on 31 August, with Sergi Canos and Samed Yesil joining Brentford and FC Luzern on respective loan deals.