It has been a busy morning on Wearside with Sunderland gearing up for the January transfer window.
Sam Allardyce is tracking Lorient defender Lamine Kone – but no fee has yet been agreed.
The highly-rated 26-year-old centre back is wanted by a host of Premier League clubs after impressing for the French side.
But the Echo understands reports that a fee of “several million Euros” having already been agreed ahead of the January transfer window are wide of the mark.
A hot topic at the moment is whether Sunderland should recall Jordan Pickford from his season-long loan spell at Championship outfit Preston North End.
Reporters Chris Young and Richard Mennear debate the issue here:
What do you think? Should he be brought back? Tweet your views to @sunechosafc
Allardyce is hosting his press conference ahead of the trip to Chelsea from 2pm today. Chris Young is there for us.
Follow it live via our #SAFC blog:
And finally, two of Sunderland's forthcoming games have been moved for television broadcast.
Sunderland AFC’s forthcoming Barclays Premier League games against Manchester United and West Ham United have been selected for live transmission by BT Sport.
The Mannchester United game, which takes place on Saturday 13 February 2016 at the Stadium of Light will now kick-off at the slightly earlier time of 12.45pm.
The away fixture against the Hammers, which takes place on Saturday 27 February 2016 at Upton Park will also move to the earlier kick-off time of 12.45pm.