As we told you earlier this week, Sunderland agreed a deal with Inter Milan for Serbian midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic, however it was reported that the player consequently turned down a move to Wearside but with strengthening midfield a priority, it looks as if we may have remained in Milan for our next target.
According to today's Gazzetta Dello Sport, Sunderland have turned their sights on AC Milan's Antonio Nocerino. 28-year-old Nocerino signed for Milan from Palermo for around €425,000 two years ago and then had a blistering start to his Milan career as he scored 11 goals in his debut season for the Rossoneri, including an equaliser against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
His formed dipped last season though and that led to him losing his starting place, with the player himself admitting that he may have to leave with the World Cup coming up at the end of this season.
No price tag has been mentioned for Nocerino, however with still three years left on his £24,000 per week contract, it may be a difficult deal to strike. Ironically, one player that may help is Kuzmanovic, who is wanted by Milan as a replacement and they are lining up a swap deal with Luca Antonini going the other way.
Nocerino isn't the only central midfielder to be linked with Sunderland today, with Romanian international Alexandru Bourceanu rumoured to be interesting Di Canio.
Bourceanu, who is also 28, is captain of Steaua Bucharest and it's been reported that Sunderland spoke to his agent after Steaua's 2-2 draw in the away leg of the Champions League Play-Off, a result that saw the Romanian side qualify for the Group Stage.
A £4.2m fee has been mentioned for Bourceanu, with the President of the Romanian Professional Football League, Dumitru Dragomir, admitting that the player may leave and that he would be more difficult for Steaua to replace than new Tottenham signing Vlad Chiriches.
Whether either of these transfer happen, it's good to see the club searching far and wide for that elusive central midfielder with a bit of extra quality that the team desperately needs.