By William Joyce
Sunderland are closing in on a deal for Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell.
The Black Cats are in pole position to land the former Everton man, despite interest from more than half of the Premier League's 20 clubs.
The 23-year-old has been beset with injuries since moving to City from Goodison Park in 2012, and has started just seven Premier League games in two seasons.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini is now willing to let Rodwell leave the club, with a number of sides understood to have enquired about his availability.
But Sunderland are confident they will beat off the competition and finally land one of their top summer targets, with an announcement possible in the next few days.
Black Cats boss Gus Poyet has cut a frustrated figure during the transfer window so far, having failed to seal a number of signings - including Fabio Borini from Liverpool.