Sunderland remain in pole position to sign Yann M’Vila, but the summer-long pursuit is set to drag on.
There had been hopes of progress being made with Russian side Rubin Kazan for the permanent signing of M’Vila, who starred on loan for Sunderland last season.
But the Echo understands the deal is proving to be far from straight forward, with talks continuing between the two clubs.
It is thought the sticking point has been Kazan’s determination to bank a hefty fee for M’Vila - thought to be around the £5million mark - despite only six months remaining on his contract.
Sunderland, yet to make a summer signing, could wait until M’Vila is a free agent in January but would then risk other clubs beating them to his signature.
There are also question marks over his fitness levels as a result of his state-of-limbo this summer.
The former Rennes ace returned to his homeland last week due to what were supposedly visa issues.
M’Vila, who has no future at Kazan and has publicly declared he wants to return to Sunderland, is understood to be willing to take a hefty pay cut from his £100,000-a-week contract.
M’Vila was brought to Wearside last summer by Dick Advocaat and became a key figure under Sam Allardyce.
It is understood the change in management at Sunderland hasn’t affected the M’Vila deal.
The French midfielder was a target for Moyes in his final season at Everton, before the Scot took charge at Manchester United.
Everton have again been linked with a move this summer but Sunderland remain in pole position to land the 26-year-old.
Fans are crying out for new signings with the Black Cats the only Premier League side still to strengthen their squad.
Moyes and chief executive Martin Bain have been glued to their phones at the training base in France this week in a bid to secure a transfer breakthrough.
Moyes’ younger brother Kenny, who runs the Glasgow-based Libero Agency, has also spent time at the club’s Evian base on the banks of Lake Geneva.
He watched the 3-2 victory over Dijon FCO at the Stade Camille-Fournier on Wednesday night.