Sunderland have today been linked with a move for Lazio's Modibo Diakité. According to a report in respected Italian newspaper Repubblica.it today, the French defender had actually agreed a deal to join Paolo Di Canio's Sunderland in the summer.
However, The agent of the 6'4" central defender, Ulisse Savini, has moved to deny those reports, telling lalaziosiamonoi.it;
I honestly know little about that reality. English football fascinates me and Di Canio has brought great enthusiasm, but for now I have not heard from anyone from Sunderland.
Although he denied he was in contact with Sunderland, Savini went on to admit that he would be honoured to speak to the club;
But if they call us, we would be honoured to speak with them
If Sunderland are to pursue a deal for Diakité, then they are likely to face competition from Liverpool. The Merseyside club were unable to clinch a deal for the 26-year-old in the January transfer window but it is thought Brendan Rodgers is still on the defender's trail due to Jamie Carragher's impending retirement and doubts over the future of Sebastian Coates and Martin Skrtel.
The French born player, of Senegalese origin, is out of contract in the summer and has yet to make a Serie A appearance this season, after losing his place due to injury.