Vito Mannone's Sky Italia Old Pals Routine
Vito Mannone is wanted by Aston Villa. Steve Bruce will return to Sunderland to bid for the Sunderland goalkeeper who lost his place as number one at the Stadium of Light through an injury he suffered in August and the subsequent form of Jordan Pickford.
Bruce, who tried to sign Mannone when the former Sunderland boss was managing Hull City, is eyeing up the Italian stopper as a replacement for the inevitable loss of his goalkeeper, Pierluigi Gollini.
Gollini is being widely linked with a move away from Villa Park, with the likes of Juventus on high-alert for a January bid.
So says Sky Italia journalist, Gianluca Di Marzio.
In fact, we've been expecting this one for weeks - because Di Marzio has run this story repeatedly.
Di Marzio and Mannone have history. The Italian reporter has regularly featured the Italian goalkeeper on his website and on his social media feeds and conducted several interviews with him.
But, also the reports claim that the 28-year-old's agent is unhappy with his client's "treatment" at Sunderland in losing his place to England's hottest young goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford. The identity of the 'agent' is unclear, but suffice to say that Mannone's representative when he signed his contract extension in July was none other than Roberto De Fanti.
The former Sunderland Director of Football has been involved with Mannone for some years and it was De Fanti who was originally responsible for the goalkeeper being signed from Arsenal in 2013.
Palace Back For Van Aanholt?
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are set to return to Sunderland in a fresh bid to land left-back Patrick van Aanholt. Alan Pardew is in the market for a full-back after losing Pape Soure, who recently suffered a car crash. Pardew was also rumoured to be monitoring van Aanholt as far back as April.
The former Newcastle manager has set his sights on the Dutchman, who has been at Sunderland since 2014. A bid of £1.5m may land on David Moyes' desk when the January transfer window opens in two weeks time.
So says The Sun.
However, with Sunderland only possessing one genuine senior left-back and van Aanholt continuing to be one of the main attacking threats at the club, Moyes is unlikely to be willing to lose the 26-year-old mid-way through the season.
Indeed the last time this rumour surfaced, The Sun claimed Pardew had made the Dutchman his "number one target" and that he would swoop at the end of last season should Sunderland be relegated.
Palace are also said to be monitoring Schalke's Sead Kolasinac as well as Newcastle United defender, Paul Dummett, as alternatives to the Sunderland man.