Sunderland’s chances of signing Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates permanently appear to have moved a step closer after the Reds signed Charlton’s Joe Gomez.
The England Under-19 international has put pen to paper on a five-year contract with Brendan Rodgers’ side, for an undisclosed fee.
Liverpool are thought to have beaten off competition from several Premier League rivals for the highly-rated centre-back.
Gomez’s arrival at Anfield could spell the end of Coates’ Liverpool career.
The Uruguayan impressed in the latter stages of a loan spell at the Stadum of Light last season.
He played a key role in helping Sunderland retain their top-flight status and is reportedly a transfer target for Black Cats boss Dick Advocaat.
A permanent deal for the 24-year-old is expecetd to cost Sunderland about £4m.