| 15.7°C Dublin

Sunderland seal Vergini loan

Argentine defender Santiago Vergini has joined Sunderland's fight for Premier League survival on loan until the end of the season.

The centre-back, who has one international cap, was on loan with Argentina's Estudiantes from his Uruguayan parent club Atletico Fenix and began his career in Paraguay with Olimpia before playing in Europe with Italy's Verona in 2011.

His new side face Manchester United in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final tomorrow night but striker Steven Fletcher is a doubt.

Manager Gus Poyet gambled with Fletcher's fitness during Saturday's 2-2 Stadium of Light draw with Southampton, with the 26-year-old named as a substitute due to an Achilles injury.

Fletcher appeared for the final 18 minutes as the Black Cats chased a win after coming from 2-0 down, and with Jozy Altidore struggling up front.

Although Fletcher came through the game unscathed, the Achilles issue does make him touch and go for the trip to Old Trafford where Sunderland start with a 2-1 lead from the first leg.

"We were trying not to play him at all because he had a problem, a little injury," Poyet said. "We would not have involved him if we had been doing well. But I asked him to take a risk for him and for his teammates and, credit to him, he did.

"Sometimes you have to think of the player, and I did not want to be responsible for him getting injured by starting him in the game.

"But he came through it okay, and we just have to assess how it will be in the next few days."