The Black Cats had sent scouts to Austria during the international break as David Moyes looks to add an element of steel to the second-worst backline in the Premier League, with Hinteregger, Bayer Leverkusen hardman Aleksander Dragovic and Stuttgart full-back Florian Klein reportedly top of their wishlist.
Sam Allardyce was reportedly preparing to make a move for Hinteregger and Dragovic before being whisked away to take on the England job in the summer, with speculation suggesting that Moyes was preparing to pick up the baton in January.
However, Hinteregger who played the whole 90 minutes alongside Tottenham’s Kevin Wimmer as Austria succumbed to a goal from former Black Cat James McClean in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland, will not be making the move to the Stadium of Light in January.
With Lamine Kone a shadow of the player who inspired another miraculous escape from relegation in the second half of last season, and Papy Djilobodji (below) demonstrating exactly why he featured for all of one minute for Chelsea, Sunderland are in desperate need of defensive reinforcements having failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their Premier League games this season.
However, the perennial strugglers have wasted vast sums on a series of underperforming players in recent years, and the unavailability of Hinteregger could be a blessing in disguise.
During a brief period with Borussia Monchengladbach during the 2015/16 season, the Austrian demonstrated a propensity to panic in pressure situations, hardly a trait transferable to a relegation battle.