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Sunderland have pulled out of a deal to sign former Newcastle defender Davide Santon from Inter Milan.
The 25-year-old travelled to Wearside earlier this week for contract discussions and a medical after the Black Cats agreed a £3.5m deal with the Serie A club.
However, the deal is thought to have foundered over Sunderland's wish to include a relegation clause in the contract.
"Sunderland AFC will not be pursuing its interest in Inter Milan player Davide Santon, after negotiations between the two clubs failed to reach a positive conclusion," a Black Cats statement read.
Santon joined Inter 18 months ago, initially on loan, after four seasons and 94 appearances for Sunderland’s North East rivals Newcastle United.
He made just 11 Serie A starts for the Inter last year, with one further appearance from the bench.
In other Sunderland news, former Chelsea director of football operations Mike Forde says Sam Allardyce has the requisite qualities to be England manager.
Forde, who worked with the Black Cats' boss at Bolton before moving to Chelsea, says the FA should put "innovator" Allardyce in charge of the national team.
"I worked with a lot of managers at Chelsea and Sam could hold his own with any of them,' Forde told the Daily Mail.
"You are only ever as good as the players you have but when it comes to getting the best out of the players you have he's second to none.
"In my time at Chelsea I'd say Carlo Ancelotti was the best at that and Sam is at the same level. He has done incredibly well in whatever situation he has been in. Players really do respond to him.
"In terms of his approach, his methods, his thinking, the England job would be a perfect time for Sam and he'd be perfect for the job."