Have Sunderland sold someone, and is that someone currently in Africa?
So Sunderland have bid upwards of £10m for Norwich City midfielder Robbie Brady. That seems to be accepted as fact. David Moyes wouldn't be drawn on the topic in his last appearance in public - when he faced the media post-match at Turf Moor on Tuesday night - but he didn't deny it either.
Indeed local journalists appear to have largely confirmed with the club that the offer has been made. So that's good isn't it? It suggests Sunderland have cash to spend after all.
And as we reported last night, it's still our understanding that owner Ellis Short has sanctioned a quick buck to tide us over as David Moyes racks his brains on how to fashion a team capable of getting a few points from his bare-boned squad. The figure is thought to amount to £15m, probably hard cash, and will enable Sunderland to bring in a body or two to give the struggling squad a timely shot in the arm. And that's good, isn't it?
Well yes... but it doesn't add up.
Remember, as Roker Report said yesterday, the only two viable options in this window for buying anyone are selling first or playing with the figures to make the accounts, and the Financial Fair Play regulations, work for us.
But since then, we understand that there actually isn't any room in the Sunderland figures to massage this £15m outlay without selling someone first.
No matter how clever Sunderland may manage to be with the final reckoning, there simply isn't a way to purchase anyone for a few million quid without confirming a sale to allow it.
And another thing, it would be a huge risk to make a bid for a player, who could cost the club £15m, without being incredibly certain that subsequent cash is going to flow in before the transfer window shuts; and just as importantly, that some room in the wage bill is sure to be freed up to make room for him. There would likely be a penalty if not.
The consequences for Sunderland buying Robbie Brady - or anyone else in his price bracket - as it looks at the moment could be tough, and probably too much of a chance to have taken in isolation.
As we understand it, if Sunderland were not already sure of selling a player or two for a significant sum at the same time as they made this bid for Brady, the outcome will be an unholy mess in the accounts and the likely risk of being hauled before the footballing authorities.
The judges and juries of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations can impose a hefty fine and possibly some form of transfer embargo on those who break the rules.
Nope, it seems a reasonable assumption to make that Sunderland may well have already agreed a sale for at least one, perhaps two players.
So why hasn't such an outgoing been announced? Well, it could be any number of reasons. Perhaps the buying club have yet to finalise a critical bit of business before they announce their incoming transfer to the world.
Or it could be that this player, or players, are currently in the throes of representing their nation at the African Cup of Nations. And no country battling at an international tournament wants their potential heroes distracted by the media circus which now follows all football, all footballers and all football transfers in every corner of the globe.
Speculation perhaps, but it would make sense. Who KKould it be?
Is Fabio Borini Up For Sale?
It's the Daily Star who have ramped up the transfer gossip surrounding Fabio Borini a notch or two. The newspaper have suggested that David Moyes is now willing to listen to offers for Italian attacker Fabio Borini.
The former Liverpool man was strongly linked with a return to Serie A over the Christmas period with AS Roma and AC Milan mooted as the two clubs showing an interest in repatriating Borini in the January window.
The rumours died off somewhat as soon as the player's representative, Roberto De Fanti, suggested the Italian clubs were keen on a loan move for the 25-year-old which would be "impossible" in the current climate at the Stadium of Light.
But certainly in the last few days, Italian outlets have relaunched their assault on the Fabio Borini transfer links. It's now Napoli who are said to have expressed interest in landing the player Sunderland signed permanently in a £10m deal in the summer of 2015.
At this stage, the links to the Naples-based outfit suggest a summer move is probably the only option available to whisk Borini back to Italy, but the fresh suggestion that David Moyes is now open to offers, may whip up some additional speculation.
For one thing, transfer talk and the prospect of a move away from Sunderland may explain Fabio Borini's current run of poor form which has him looking starkly disinterested in a red-and-white shirt of late.