Sunderland are in talks with Inter over a move for Argentina international Ricky Alvarez, Goal understands.
The 26-year-old attacking midfielder has been made available by Inter, and Sunderland are now hopeful of completing the signing.
Sources have confirmed to Goal that a deal is close to being concluded in what would be a major coup for the north east outfit.
It is understood Sunderland would sign Alvarez on a season-long loan deal with a view to a permanent transfer worth around £12 millon.
Inter paid over £10m for Alvarez when they snapped him up from Velez Sarsfield in 2011.
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is desperate to bolster his squad in the coming days before the transfer window shuts and landing a player of Alvarez' calibre would be a huge boost.
French giants Monaco could rival Sunderland for Alvarez, but a move to the Premier League is known to appeal to the Argentina international, who has eight full caps to his name, including an appearance as a second half substitute against Nigeria at the 2014 World Cup.