Sassuolo expecting two Premier League bids for Sunderland target Francesco Acerbi

Sunderland have been tracking the central defender for a number of weeks.

TMW reported that the Black Cats were looking at Acerbi last week, and were planning to make an offer for the 26-year-old Sassuolo central defender.

It is the same media outlet who have reported that the Italian club are expecting two official offers from Premier League sides this week, and, although there is no way to identity either club attempting to sign him, one would suspect that Sunderland will be turning their long-term interest into a concrete offer.

Head coach Gus Poyet has already confirmed that signing a central defender is one of his aims of the transfer window, and Acerbi, who has a wealth of Serie A experience, looks to be their main target.

A full Italian international, who won his debut in November 2014, Acerbi underwent a health scare prior to the start of the 2013/14 campaign, when it was discovered that he had testicular cancer, and had to undergo chemotherapy to have the tumour removed. He ended up making just 13 appearances for the Neroverdi in his debut season due to the illness, and he failed a doping test in December 2013, due to the side effects of the medicine he was taking to treat the disease.

He has since returned and made 12 league appearances this term for the overachieving Sassuolo side, and it looks as if the Black Cats will try to lure him to England, along with their rivals for his signature.

Whilst not the best tackler of the ball - winning just 0.8 per game - he is extremely adept at winning interceptions and clearing the ball successfully, with a total of 4.2 and 9.5 per game respectively. Potentially a long-term replacement for the ageing Wes Brown, Acerbi looks like an astute signing, and Sunderland would be wise to be one of the clubs preparing to submit a concrete offer.

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