SAFC have confirmed that Tore Andre Flo is in talks with Italian Serie A side Siena about a possible move – but say that any move will take several more days to conclude.
The Reuters news agency were reporting this afternoon that Flo had agreed to join Siena, but a press release from Sunderland this evening said “Discussions are ongoing. Any possible deal will not be concluded until the middle of next week.”
UEFA, meanwhile, are reporting that the move is a done deal, saying that Flo has passed a medical and signed a two year deal. UEFA’s official website attributes Flo as saying “I’m really happy to play for Siena and I look forward to a new experience in Italian football. I hope to score many goals and help the team to avoid relegation even if I know that the Italian league is really difficult. I haven’t seen much of the town but it seems really beautiful. As regards the team I only know Chiesa.”
Flo has been told several times this year by Nils Johan Semb, coach of the Norwegian national team, that if he wanted to retain his international place then he needed to be playing in one of the top European leagues; but until recently, Flo’s agent had maintained his client was happy to see out the remaining two years of his contract at Sunderland, playing in the reserves if necessary.
“Tore Andre has no plans to leave the club“, said Kjennar during the close-season. “He has two years left on his contract and relates himself to that. I have talked with him and he had no problems playing for the reserves.”
However Flo has since been dropped from the Norwegian national squad, and this could well be what has persuaded him to move to a new club – and Siena fit the bill of being in a top European league, having recently won promotion to Italy’s Serie A league.
Flo became Sunderland’s record signing less than one year ago, signing for Peter Reid literally only hours before the summer transfer window shut.