Sunderland are yet to make their first breakthrough in the transfer market this summer, yet midfield target Clement Chantome is closing in on a move to the Premier League.
Chantome was scouted by Sunderland on several occasions during the second half of last season and is a free agent after rejecting the offer of a new contract at Bordeaux.
The Echo understands that the 28-year-old is in advanced talks with two unnamed Premier League clubs, with Middlesbrough and Everton also linked.
Meanwhile, two of Sunderland's former academy products are on the move.
Midfielder Billy Knott - released by Bradford City at the end of last season - has joined Gillingham on a two-year deal.
But former Sunderland team-mate John Egan could be leaving the Gills after the end of his contract with the League One side.
The centre-half has attracted the attention of several Championship clubs and reports today have indicated that he is heading to Brentford, who saw a bid rejected for the 24-year-old in January.