Sunderland look set to lose out in the race to sign Mauro Zarate as the forward edges nearer to a move to Dynamo Kiev.
Black Cats boss Martin O’Neill has been monitoring the 25-year-old, who had a brief loan stint at Birmingham City in 2008.
The Argentine attacker was a key figure for Lazio during his first three seasons at the club but he has started just one Serie A match this term.
Now Dynamo Kiev have sounded out Zarate over a switch and he is believed to be keen on the idea.
But the Ukrainian side are yet to agree a fee with Lazio, with the Italian capital club holding out for a fee in the region of £7m.