Fabio Borini’s proposed £14m move from Liverpool to Sunderland remained in the balance on Saturday night as the Italian forward played hard to get.

While reports that Borini has rejected the transfer out of hand are wide of the mark, Gus Poyet and Sunderland clearly have some persuading to do if they are to sell the idea of a long-term move to Wearside to a player who enjoyed a successful loan stint at the Stadium of Light last season.

Following Sunderland’s 5-1 friendly win at Darlington on Saturday Poyet confirmed Sunderland had agreed a fee with Liverpool for Borini and said he was waiting to speak to the striker.

Poyet claimed the 23-year-old, who scored 10 goals for his side last season, would be a “perfect” signing. “What I can say is that we have agreed [a deal] with Liverpool, we are waiting for correspondence and then we move on from there,” said Sunderland’s manager.

“It’s clear the impact Fabio had last season. And we are going to spend that amount of money on a player because we know how much he can give us. He would be perfect for us but it’s an ongoing thing.”

Undeterred by reports, largely from Italy, that Borini is digging his toes in and will not leave Liverpool, Poyet expects to speak to the Italian within the next few days. “We have done the steps that we needed to do properly, and now we are waiting. We want to do things the right way,” he said.