There's been a hell of a lot of talk from the Middle East about Kader Mangane signing for Sunderland on a 6-month loan deal, but now Martin O'Neill has gone on record to talk about the Senegalese international, and it looks as though a deal will be done very soon.
In speaking with the Northern Echo ahead of today's game with West Ham United, the gaffer said;
We have made inquiries.
He's a lad who went out to the Middle East from Rennes and we've made a number of inquiries about his position.
In terms of the centre-half position, we're a bit short. Wes has been out for a long time and you wouldn't say that in the foreseeable future he's going to be back and in contention for us. We've been a bit short in that department, so we're looking to see if we can strengthen there.
We've talked about the possibility of a loan until the end of the season. Beyond that, it would depend on performances and things like that.
All of this ties in nicely with reports a 6-month loan deal with a view to a permanent £2m transfer in the summer is set to be completed this weekend, with the defender allegedly already in the North East to put pen to paper.
A lot of this was hinged on his current club Al Hilal signing a replacement for him, and they've acted quickly in bringing Colombian Gustavo Bolivar who can fill the same defender/midfielder positions Mangane regularly played.
There's no rush to get the deal done however, as with regards to the Bolton replay on Tuesday, Mangane couldn't play due to not being registered for the original tie. The same goes for Alfred N'Diaye.