Sunderland striker Fabio Borini has left the North-East in order to join Serie A giants AC Milan on loan with an obligation to buy at the end of next season, the Wearside club has confirmed.
Italian's initial promise on Wearside faded
Borini's departure follows the Black Cats' relegation from the Premier League and is one that will likely be followed by several of last season's first-team squad now that Simon Grayson has filled the vacant managerial role and will be looking to make his mark in the transfer window.
The 26-year-old returned to Liverpool following an impressive loan spell with Sunderland in the 2013/14 season, including a goal in the League Cup final, and after a season of frustration on the fringes at Anfield made the move back to the North-East for a fee of £10m.
The Italian never quite hit the heights reached during his loan spell once the move became permanent and often cut a frustrated figure playing on the left side of midfield rather than in his favoured striking position.
Black Cats fans questioned Borini's committment during last season's dismal performances which saw him net just two goals in 26 appearances, ultimately ending with the club's relegation to the Championship.
Borini returns to Italy after extended stay in England
He becomes AC Milan's fifth signing of the summer window and is their second striking acquisition following the signing of Porto striker Andre Silva meaning he will have competition from him as well as current Rossoneri striker Carlos Bacca, although the Colombian has recently been linked with Paris Saint Germain.
The move sees Borini return to Serie A for the first time since his loan spell with Roma in the 2011/12 season which saw him score 10 goals in 26 appearances across all competitions.
Borini will hope that his return to Italy can propel him back into the international setup which he has remained absent from since his only senior cap for the Azzuri in 2012.