Cottagers for Cats swoop


Fulham are set to push through a deal to sign Sunderland full-back Phil Bardsley after they moved in for Argentine Gino Peruzzi.

Black Cats boss Paolo Di Canio has identified the 21-year-old Velez Sarsfield right-back, Peruzzi, as the man to be his first-choice in the back-line at the Stadium of Light in the new Premier League season.

And, as the player is now on Wearside after flying over from Buenos Aires on Wednesday to undergo a medical and agree personal terms, confirmation of his signing is expected to be made soon.

That will leave 28-year-old Scotland international Bardsley free to make a move, which is set to alert Fulham boss Martin Jol who was linked with a swoop earlier this month.

The player’s time at Sunderland was virtually over at the back end of last season when he was publicly criticised by Di Canio after being photographed in a casino late at night as the club battled to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

As a result Bardsley did not travel with the team for their pre-season training camp in Italy, while he is not in the squad for the Hong Kong trip this weekend.

He has kept his fitness levels up at the Sunderland training ground and played for the Under-21 development side in a goalless pre-season friendly against Southampton at the Academy of Light on Wednesday.