BRENDAN Rodgers is determined to prevent Sheffield United kissing goodbye to the Championship with a win at Swansea City tomorrow after being told that Fabio Borini, the Italy under-21 international striker, will almost certainly depart unless the Welsh club are competing at Premier League level next season.
Rodgers, whose club are already assured of a play-off place, is keen to secure Borini’s services on a permanent basis after signing him on loan from Chelsea in March.
But despite growing frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities at Stamford Bridge - Fernando Torres’s £50m move to the capital appearing to end his hopes of breaking into manager Carlo Ancelotti’s plans - Borini remains adamant that he can forge a career at the highest level after scoring six goals in seven starts during a prolific stint in South Wales.
“He is still a Chelsea player,” Rodgers said. “He is only here on loan but he will soon be out of contract and we can review it at the end of the season.”
Rodgers, who rose to prominence on the coaching circuit after taking charge of Stamford Bridge’s academy in 2004, cites Jose Mourinho as one of his greatest influences having spent 36 months working under the Portuguese in west London.
Brief spells at Watford and, to a lesser extent, Reading confirmed the 38-year-old’s readiness to exploit the contacts he acquired at the reigning champions with former Chelsea youngster Scott Sinclair following Rodgers to the Liberty Stadium soon after his appointment.
Borini, though, promises to be his most imaginative signing yet after equipping Swansea with the cutting edge which threatened to render their slick passing and even slicker movement off the ball an irrelevance in the hurly burly of England’s second tier.
Micky Adams, who like many of his predecessors at United has been forced to use the temporary transfer market to patch-up rather than embellish an injury prone squad, could be forgiven for casting envious glances across the technical area when the relegated visitors lock horns with their fourth placed opponents.
With Parma also monitoring Borini’s progress, Rodgers said: “When he came in I told him to enjoy his football but also to enjoy living in Swansea because it’s a terrific place. And he has settled in well.”
Swansea, who will also include ex-United midfielder Leon Britton in their plans, could be catapulted into the automatic promotion places if they climb above rivals Cardiff and Queens Park Rangers are docked points following an FA investigation into Alejandro Faurlin’s switch from Instituto de Codoba.
The governing body are scheduled to deliver their findings later today.