Sunderland are continuing to keep tabs on midfielder Emmanuele Giaccherini, despite the probability of the Italy international remaining in his homeland this summer.
Giaccherini joined Serie A side Bologna on a season-long loan last summer and he is likely to depart the Stadium of Light on a permanent basis at the end of the season.
The 30-year-old will only have 12 months remaining on his Sunderland contract, plus he is one of the club’s top earners.
But Sunderland will not let Giaccherini leave for a pittance and the Black Cats watched him in action for Bologna against Torino last weekend.
“Staying in Italy would be nice, we are clear, but we’ll see if that can happen,” said his agent Furio Valcareggi.
If Sunderland are in the Championship next season, then Giaccherini will almost certainly be on the move after Sam Allardyce’s side remained third bottom last night.
Newcastle’s draw against Manchester City kept the Magpies below Sunderland in the table, with the Black Cats now boasting a game in hand on both their neighbours and fourth bottom Norwich City.
Sunderland can boost their survival hopes against Arsenal this weekend, with the Gunners in action against West Brom tomorrow night.
And Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Jack Wilshere could be in contention to face Sunderland after the England international has been out through injury all season.
Wenger said: “I don’t think he will be available for selection tomorrow, but from then it is whether I select him or not.”