Premier League rivals Sunderland and Stoke City could be set to do battle in the transfer market after Newcastle United reportedly turned down the chance to sign one of their respective former targets Rod Fanni.
The Magpies were offered the opportunity to sign up the former France international in a deal worth just £3 million but opted against the move in the end, amid reports linking the Toon to bids for the likes of Micah Richards and Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson.
That decision has cleared the way for one of either Sunderland or Stoke City to step into the breach, with both clubs previously keen on recruiting the Olympique Marseille right-back.
Former Mackems chief Martin O’Neill had previously investigated a move for the Frenchman and while the Northern Irishman has long since departed, current boss Gustavo Poyet could now be weighing up a move, following a series of summer departures from the club.
They may not be alone in their admiration of the defender though, with Stoke City another side who could yet table a bid, having previously come close to landing the Frenchman, only for the player’s club Marseille to opt against a deal.
And while a transfer to Newcastle United was believed to be Fanni’s first choice of move, the 32-year-old appears keen on the idea of playing in the Premier League next season, regardless of his eventual destination.
Speaking to Sky Sports in January of last year, the full-back signalled his intentions to play in England and make a return to the international setup with France.
"Yes I want to play in England but I have a contract here, unless the two clubs agree a fee, it is not in my hands,” he said.
"I want to play in the top league and return in the French squad."
With Marseille now seemingly offering the defender up to the highest bidder, a move to the likes of Sunderland or Stoke could soon be a reality.