Bologna are tracking Emanuele Giaccherini after the midfielder’s agent admitted he could leave Sunderland before the end of the transfer window.
Giaccherini was not even on the bench for Sunderland’s dire defeat against Norwich City last weekend, despite the Italian international being fit to feature at the Stadium of Light.
He is a top level figure who needs to play consistently after a season characterised by injuriesFurio Valcareggi
The 30-year-old has been keen to prove his credentials at Sunderland this season after his contribution last year was ruined by injuries.
But with Sunderland still in the market for an attacking midfielder, Giaccherini - who arrived on Wearside in a £6.5million deal two years ago - has fallen down the pecking order.
With Giaccherini hopeful of featuring in the Italy squad for next summer’s European Championships too, his agent, Furio Valcareggi, admits the ex-Juventus man could be on the move before the transfer deadline in less than a fortnight.
That has been followed by reports in Italy that newly-promoted Bologna are interested in taking Giaccherini on a season-long loan.
“We had a rethink on the situation that has been created in England,” said Valcareggi.
“Time is limited and we’ll see what happens, but he is a top level figure who needs to play consistently after a season characterised by injuries.
“He lost all of last year and now cannot afford to lose another chance. This is the year leading up to Euro 2016 and he really wants to be there.
“Could he return to Italy? We’ll see, as anything could happen. He is certainly not lacking for offers.
“Taking part in the European Championship would be a triumph for Giaccherini, who still has a lot of respect within the Azzurri camp.
“He could decide his future within two days.”
Giaccherini is not the only Sunderland player being linked with a Stadium of Light exit, as speculation continues over a return to former club Bournemouth for striker Jermain Defoe.
The 32-year-old has not been a natural fit for Dick Advocaat’s favoured 4-3-3 formation and is one of Sunderland’s top earners, with the head coach looking to sign a targetman over the next two weeks.
But while Sunderland may have been considered Defoe’s potential departure earlier in the summer, Connor Wickham’s exit has left Advocaat boasting just three strikers, with Danny Graham being offered to Championship clubs over recent weeks.