The midfielder spent last season on loan at Bologna.
Sunderland's hopes of being able to spend big this summer are being hampered by the inability to offload unwanted midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini, with the Sunderland Echo reporting that the Italian's high wage demands are preventing a move away.
Giaccherini has played just 15 minutes of first-team football in the last 17 months for the Black Cats, and spent the entirety of last season on loan at Serie A side Bologna.
The 31-year-old impressed at the Italian side, scoring seven goals in 28 league matches, so much so that he has been named in incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Conte's squad for Euro 2016 this month.
However, Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is desperate to offload the star who has scored just four Premier League goals since his move from Juventus three years ago.
The Wearside club had been hoping to find a permanent buyer for the midfielder quickly to free up space in their wage budget and increase their funds for summer signings, but they are struggling to close a deal.
According to the Echo, that is due to Giaccherini's unwillingness to take a pay cut to move back to his home country, despite up to five clubs including Bologna and Lazio reportedly holding interest in his signature.
The saving grace for Sunderland could be an impressive tournament in France this summer for the Italian national side, which would be sure to boost interest - and, crucially, the amount clubs would be willing to invest in the ageing star.