Parma have reportedly approached Sunderland to explore to possibility of signing a trio of players, including Emanuele Giaccherini.
The report from Gianluca Di Marzio also suggests the Italians are interesting in taking Mobido Diakite (though Fiorentina appear to be very much leading that chase) and Charis Mavrias, the latter presumably on loan.
But it is apparently their interest in Giaccherini that is most pressing. The pocket-sized playmaker had quite a decent start to life on Wearside, but has fallen down the pecking order since as he struggles to pin down a position in Gus Poyet's line-up.
It's a bit of a conundrum because in terms of actual talent, Giaccherini is one of the best players Sunderland have. If he could settle into the side somewhere into a role that suited him, he would unquestionably make the team better.
That's a giant 'if' though. Poyet prefers a genuine forward to play from the left, does not seem to care for the 'number 10' role, and doesn't seem to trust Giaccherini enough in central midfield. He is almost just a nice idea rather than an actual useful footballer to Sunderland at the moment.
There is also the effect selling him could have on Sunderland's own transfer business. Poyet has confirmed he'd like one more, presumably Bridcutt, but any further deals are largely dependant on the kind of opportunity that selling players provide.
A deal to take Giaccherini back to Serie A looks complicated due to lower wages in Italy, and his agent has insisted he wants to stay at Sunderland. However, if a deal could be done and it opened up a window to bring in another player more suited to Poyet's plans, I'd be very tempted to take it.