Norwich City have entered the race to sign Lorient defender Lamine Kone, according to reports today.
Sunderland are among a host of Premier League clubs chasing the centre-back, with club scouts watching the 26-year-old in action.
As previously reported by the Echo, Sam Allardyce made a scouting mission across the Channel last month after watching Lorient’s defeat to PSG, and Sunderland again watched the Ligue 1 outfit’s clash against Nice last week.
The Black Cats were not alone, with another 10 Premier League sides represented at the game.
Meanwhile, Jeremain Lens was left out of Sunderland's squad at Chelsea for disciplinary reasons, Sam Allardyce has confirmed.
Sunderland splashed out an initial £8million – plus potentially another £5million in add-ons – to bring Lens to the Stadium of Light during the summer, yet he did not even make the bench for Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Jordan Pickford has been impressing on loan at Championship side Preston North End but he saw red in yesterday's game at Leeds United.
The Lilywhites goalkeeper was sent-off after 31 minutes of yesterday’s 1-0 defeat to Leeds at Elland Road.
Referee Gavin Ward produced the red card after appearing to rule that Pickford had handled the ball outside his box as he challenged home striker Chris Wood.
But the club will be appealing the decision.
North End manager Simon Grayson said: "We can appeal the red card.
"We will look at all the footage and hopefully there is enough evidence for us to get it overturned.
"To start with, we have to see whether it has hit Jordan on the hand or arm."