Emanuele Giaccherini is reportedly closing in on a move to Napoli, despite his agent denying any talks just 24 hours ago.
Torino were in pole position to sign Giaccherini last week after a summer of speculation over the in-demand midfielder’s future, following his eye-catching performances at the European Championships.
Giaccherini’s agent, Furio Valcareggi, yesterday denied claims that fellow Serie A outfit Napoli had entered the race for the 31-year-old.
“If Napoli had wanted (him), someone from the club would have called me, but there has been nothing, no contact,” said Valcareggi.
However, there have been subsequent widespread reports in Italy that Giaccherini is getting close to penning a three-year deal at Napoli after their late entry into the race for his signature.
Certainly, there is no prospect of Giaccherini remaining at Sunderland, despite his displays in France.
The ex-Juventus man struggled to convince in the Premier League in an admittedly injury-hit two years at Sunderland, before moving to Bologna on a season-long loan last summer.
And with only a year remaining on his Sunderland contract, the Black Cats want a return on one of their top earners.
Giaccherini is expected to be the first of the six remaining players who are considered surplus to requirements to leave Sunderland.
The quintet of Jordi Gomez, Will Buckley, Liam Bridcutt, Adam Matthews and Charis Mavrias have all been training with the Under-21 squad while the first-team have been in Austria for a pre-season training camp.
Gomez - who has been linked with Espanyol and Wigan - is also closing in on a Sunderland exit.