Sunderland are closing in on a move for Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt, according to reports.
Sky Sports last night claimed on their live Transfer Blog that an agreement with the South Coast club is close and a deal could be in place before Wednesday.
It has felt inevitable that the 24-year-old would be a priority target from the second that Gus Poyet was appointed and it is believed that talks opened for the midfielder, once described as 'good enough for Real Madrid' by the Uruguayan, opened before the window actually did.
Of course, Bridcutt isn't good enough for Madrid. Never believe what a manager says about a player they know they might have to sell at some point. But it would still represent a smart piece of business.
For a fee probably between £3-4m mark, the Black Cats would get a player who knows Poyet's system and the responsibilities of a key position within it inside out. He would also inject some much needed pace into the side too.
One point of note is that if Bridcutt does arrive he will not be eligible for Sunderland's League Cup campaign having featured as an 84th minute substitute in Brighton's first round defeat to Newport back in August. However, as things stand, he would be available for FA Cup matches