Sam Allardyce appears to have been successful in his pursuit of Bayern Munich's Jan Kirchhoff, with respected German publication kicker.de claiming a fee of around €1m (£730,000) has been agreed for the player, but has missed out on Schalke's Joel Matip after both club and player rejected an offer from Sunderland.
According to kicker.de, Kirchhoff is set to sign a contract keeping him at Sunderland until 2018. The 25-year-old's contract with the German champions expires at the end of the season and, with the player unable to force his way into Pep Guardiola's side, looks set to provide competition to the Premier League's worst defence.
6'5" Kirchhoff is a centre-back by trade, who can also play defensive midfield, but has had his injury problems since signing for Bayern. In particular, while on loan at Schalke last season, Kirchhoff picked up a troublesome Achilles injury which saw him undergo surgery to correct the problem at the end of the season. Although recovered from the surgery, the injury saw him limited to just seven games in 2015.
Meanwhile, Allardyce also bid for Schalke's Joel Matip. The defender is also out of contract at the end of the season but Sunderland's offer to sign the player in this window was rejected out of hand according to the German club's General Manager, Horst Heldt;
We have rejected [the offer], because the player did not want it and we did not want it either.
Matip has had a lot of interest from Premier League clubs, with Liverpool and Newcastle also interested in the player but Schalke are hoping to agree a new contract with Cameroon international.
With the bid for Matip rejected, Sunderland will continue to look for reinforcements for their leaky defence. We are still waiting for confirmation, one way or the other, about Lamine Kone's future but Kirchhoff's possible arrival should soften the blow after missing out on Matip.