Sunderland are poised for a dramatic deadline day after a deal for Sevilla’s Vicente Iborra collapsed and fellow midfield target Ryan Mason joined Hull City.
It means the Black Cats head into the final day of the summer transfer window with a goalkeeper, defensive cover, midfield reinforcements and a striker still to be secured - with Lamine Kone’s future still up in the air.
Lorient and Gabon midfielder Didier Ndong is reported to be among the club’s wish-list, with sources in France claiming Sunderland are closing in on a deal.
Sunderland would need to smash their transfer record to land the £17million-rated midfielder, who turned 22 in June.
Should Sunderland agree to cough up the figure, it would smash the £13million fee shelled out for Asamoah Gyan from Rennes back in 2010.
Ndong scored twice and picked up 14 yellow cards in 38 appearances for the Ligue 1 side last season.
Sunderland face a busy final day after a frustrating day on the transfer front.
Sevilla had accepted a £7.7million offer from Sunderland for Iborra but the deal collapsed after the Spanish club decided against selling their captain.
Iborra, who has played in Spain all of his career, was understood to be open to a move to Wearside but a late change of heart contributed to the deal falling through.
The deal for the 28-year-old is now dead in the water, with Sunderland having no choice but to move on to other targets.
Sunderland had also hoped to tie up a deal for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mason, with a £40,000-a-week deal on the table.
But talks with Hull, who had tracked the 25-year-old all summer, were at an advanced stage and he joined them on a club-record deal worth around £10million.
Moyes’ midfield options have been stretched after the injuries to Lee Cattermole (hernia), Jan Kirchhoff (hamstring) and Seb Larsson (knee), who is out for six months.
The Sunderland boss also needs to bring in defensive cover with Papy Djilobodji, Kone and John O’Shea the only recognised centre-backs as Paddy McNair sees himself as more of a defensive midfielder, although Jack Rodwell can deputise in defence if needed.
Moyes has been adamant Everton-target Kone won’t be leaving Wearside this summer despite the Ivory Coast international turning down the offer of a new contract.
Everton lodged a bid of £18million for the 27-year-old and the Toffees could come back in for him before the deadline.
Sunderland are understood to be weighing up a loan deal for Manchester City defender Jason Denayer, while Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho has also been linked after he was made available for loan.
The Belgian international was part of their Euro 2016 squad but has found himself surplus to requirements under Pep Guardiola at City.
A central defender, Denayer has spent the last two seasons on loan at Celtic and Galatasaray.
They face competition from Galatasaray though, who are keen on Denayer rejoining them on loan after he made 17 appearances at the Turk Telekom Arena last season.
Sakho has already turned down moves to West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City and it remains to be seen whether he would agree to a move to Wearside.