The agent of Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar has told Italian radio station Radio Blu, as quoted by Football Italia, as saying that his love for Florence meant Sunderland failed in a move to sign him.
The Black Cats were active in January, snapping up Steve Harper, Lamine Kone, Jan Kirchhoff, Wahbi Khazri and Dame N'Doye as Sam Allardyce strengthened his squad.
Those new signings have helped Sunderland already, and they now sit just one point away from safety - but they could have had another major addition in January.
Allardyce signed Senegalese striker N'Doye, but now it's been claimed that he also wanted another Senegalese hitman - Fiorentina's Khouma Babacar.
The 22-year-old hit nine goals for Fiorentina last season, and has notched seven goals in 20 appearances this term, but has only eight Serie A starts to his name this season.
However, Bastianelli stated that Babacar is attached to the city of Florence, and after making it clear that he would snub a move to stay in Florence, Fiorentina didn't consider any other offers.
"Beyond Sunderland there were other clubs who tried to sign him, another two clubs," said Bastianelli. "But the player always showed his attachment to the city, and Fiorentina didn’t consider the offers," he added.
Would you have liked to see Sunderland sign Babacar?