Chelsea are yet to make any contact with Sunderland over a shock move for midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini.
The future of Giaccherini has dominated transfer speculation surrounding Sunderland over the last month, with the Italian international impressing at the European Championships and earning a host of admirers.
Italy boss Antonio Conte - who worked with Giaccherini at former club Juventus - was responsible for recalling the 31-year-old to the international fold and there has been speculation that he could take the midfielder to Stamford Bridge when he takes over at Chelsea next season.
However, the Echo understands that Sunderland have yet to receive any enquiry from Chelsea and the Black Cats are not expecting one, despite their eagerness to offload Giaccherini this summer.
Giaccherini’s camp have understandably encouraged talk of a reunion with Conte at Stamford Bridge, given the success that the pair have enjoyed working together.
“Conte likes him a lot and Chelsea would be a dream,” said his agent Furio Valcareggi earlier this week.
But the probability is that Giaccherini will return to Italy after enjoying a successful loan spell with Bologna last season.
While Bologna are struggling to raise the finances needed to strike a permanent deal with Sunderland, there are no shortage of other Serie A suitors, most notably Torino and Fiorentina.
Both should be able to meet Sunderland’s £2million asking price for a player entering the final 12 months of his contract at the Stadium of Light.
The bigger issue would be whether they could match Giaccherini’s lofty Sunderland wages, or persuade him to accept a pay cut after he became one of the Black Cats’ top earners following his £6.5m switch from Juventus in 2013.
Meanwhile, French midfielder Clement Chantome has agreed a deal to remain in his homeland, despite holding discussions with two Premier League clubs.
Sunderland watched Chantome on several occasions during the second half of last season, prior to his contract expiring at Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux.
Chantome had been in advanced talks with two unnamed English clubs, with Middlesbrough and Everton also mooted to be tracking the 28-year-old.
However, Chantome has penned a three-year deal at French side Rennes.