Sunderland are set for a busy day ahead of the transfer deadline.
Sunderland have been one of the most active clubs this month, signing as many as five new players, with the latest being the talented attacking midfielder Wahbi Khazri from French side Bordeaux.
Boss Sam Allardyce has stressed the importance of altering his squad this month as the Black Cats sit deep in the relegation mire, four points adrift of safety.
Despite bringing in five new faces, Sunderland are seemingly still short in one or two areas and there is no doubt the club will be intent on making a late addition or two before the 11pm deadline.
One of those may come in the form of Aston Villa’s Micah Richards, a surprise name first and foremost as Sunderland have evidently left it late to try and bring in the former Manchester City man.
According to the Daily Mail, the Wearside club have been knocked back in their approach, though the report states they will go back in for him and test Villa’s resolve up until the deadline.
Sunderland could do with an extra centre-back, and Richards has plenty of top-flight pedigree.
Another name heavily linked with a move to the Stadium of Light is Arsenal’s out-of-favour full-back Mathieu Debuchy, a player once on the books of North East rivals Newcastle United.
Debuchy wants to leave the Gunners in order to play regular first-team football ahead of this summer’s European Championships, and the Chronicle claims Sunderland are among his suitors.
Villa are also rivalling the Black Cats for his signature, the report mentions, though Allardyce will feel he can persuade the right-back to join his side over the Midlands outfit.
The Daily Mail says that Swansea City’s Andre Ayew remains a target despite previous rejected bids, and that Sunderland were preparing one final offer of £12 million plus Borini for the Ghana international.
However, Swansea are reluctant to sell their leading scorer to a relegation rival, and it’s unlikely the Welsh club will seek a deal outright for Italian forward Borini.
Fletcher, however, is largely out of favour at the Stadium of Light and a deadline day exit could happen if the club receive a tempting enough offer for his services.