Sunderland have good scouting links in Italy and the Premier League strugglers are hoping to use their contacts to snatch Roma striker Marco Borriello from under the noses of Inter and Fiorentina, press reports claim.
It hasn't been the easiest of seasons for Sunderland who are propping up the Premier League table and expected to roll the dice in the winter transfer window.
The Black Cats pulled off a coup when they landed Emanuele Giaccherini despite the interest of a wealth of Italian clubs and they are said to be looking for another unlikely swoop.
Despite the absence of Francesco Totti and Mattia Destro for a significant part of the first half of the season, Borriello has still not been given a huge amount of time to shine in Rudi Garcia's side.
Borriello's very lucrative contract expires at the end of the season and he is expected to find a new side, but he could choose to leave before that, giving Roma the chance to make some money on the sale.
Inter and Fiorentina are both reportedly watching Borriello with interest but neither have made a concrete approach.
Tuttomercatoweb suggests that Sunderland could take advantage of that indecision to pounce and bring the 31-year-old to England.
Roma signed the Naples-born marksman in 2010 but also loaned him to Juventus and Genoa. He has 12 goals in 52 games for Roma.
image: © Damien Cansse