SUNDERLAND are looking to fight off interest from the Bundesliga to seal a permanent deal for ex-Chelsea frontman Salomon Kalou.
The Black Cats are one of several clubs who have been linked with Lille forward Kalou over the last week, yet they have now firmed up their interest in the 29-year-old.
Gus Poyet and sporting director Lee Congerton have been looking at alternative options to main target Fabio Borini after making an enquiry with Napoli for Chile international Eduardo Vargas last week, before he joined QPR on a season-long loan.
But Sunderland have held talks over a £4million move for Kalou - who spent six seasons at Chelsea - although there is firm interest from German side Wolfsburg for the Ivory Coast international.
However, head coach Poyet would not be drawn on any interest in Kalou after Sunderland’s opening Stadium of Light fixture of the season against Manchester United.
Poyet said: “I am going to have to do research at this football club into who is leaking information every week. It cannot be always the player’s agent.
“A few agents, okay, you can blame them, but there is too much information coming out and I don’t like it.
“I am not going to comment on any players, sorry.”
If Sunderland can seal a deal for Kalou, it will leave the Black Cats with both of their two domestic loans still available.
Sunderland have been looking at a loan move for Borini, rather than a £14m permanent deal, after spending £10m of their transfer budget on Jack Rodwell.
Whether Liverpool are willing to let Borini leave on loan remains uncertain, but if Sunderland do miss out on the Italian, they will be able to consider loanees for the central defence and central midfield areas which Poyet is still looking to address.
Poyet hinted after the 1-1 draw against United that the Borini chase may finally have reached a dead end too.
“I think we’re getting close to a final decision either way, which is good because it’s been too long,” he added.
“So it’s time now that a yes is coming or a no and we need to move on.”