After recently being linked with Bosman moves for Modibo Diakite and Valentin Roberge, Sunderland have now been linked with another out-of-contract player, Penafiel's Diogo Viana.
The Gazzetta Dello Sport claimed earlier in the week that the player had already agreed to move to Sunderland, as long as the North East club avoided relegation, with Bologna and Palermo cheering against Sunderland due to their interest in the Penafeil winger.
In an interview with transfermarketweb.com (TMW), an agent claiming to represent Viana claimed;
We are weighing up a few choices, anything might happen. Diogo's has a playing style similar to Simao and Quaresma, but he's more mild-tempered than the latter. I'm currently in Germany, in order to evaluate local opportunities, while Blackburn Rovers are keen on him. At the time no offer came from Italy. But playing for Bologna in Serie A would be great. We are even ready to weigh up an offer coming from a relegated Palermo.
Viana was quick to deny those reports, with the player himself issuing a statement to TMW denying that Paulo Rodrigues was his agent and playing down interest in him from Blackburn, Palermo and Bologna;
I respect the immense Palermo, Bologna and Blackburn, but I've have not received any contact from them. Anzhi is the only club that have showed serious interest, but it's still to be determined.
Despite the player himself not mentioning Sunderland, a report in the respected Portuguese newspaper Record today claimed the player is indeed in the process of a move to Paolo Di Canio's side. A move that, if successful, would be completed at the end of the season.
Diogo Viana is a 23-year-old former Portugal under-21 winger, who started his career at Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon before signing for Porto as a makeweight in a deal that took former Spurs striker Helder Postiga in the opposite direction.
Viana failed to make the breakthrough at Porto and, despite a couple of short Cup appearances and relatively successful loan spells at Eredivise side VVV-Venlo and C.D.Aves of the Spanish Segunda Division, joined Segunda Liga side Penafiel in 2011.
The skilful winger has made 57 appearances for Penafiel, with 29 of them coming this season and despite only finding the back of the net on four occasions is believed to have had a very good season.