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Reports: Kirchhoff is on club's watch list; Sunderland scouting Italian attacking midfielder

In this morning's transfer gossip round up: We speak to a Turkish football writer about those claims Galatasaray want Jan Kirchhoff and reports in Italy claim Sunderland are scouting a former Middlesbrough midfielder who is currently on loan in Serie B.

Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland - EFL Cup Third Round Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Kirchhoff to Turkey

Jan Kirchhoff is becoming something of a forgotten man at Sunderland. Signed for a negligible fee last January on an eighteen month deal, the German was exceptional during the spring of 2016 but injuries have wrecked his Premier League adventure since.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League
Stretchered off - Kirchhoff is withdrawn at West Brom suffering one his many injuries this season
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The 26-year-old is out of contract at the Stadium of Light this summer and it's almost impossible to predict what happens to Kirchhoff at the end of this season. Precisely where he ends up will solely depend on his fitness and whether he can engineer himself back to being a functioning footballer - or at least convince a club that's what he can be.

Kirchhoff has played in just seven Premier League games this season. Hamstring injuries during the autumn and into the winter gave way to a serious knee cartilage problem picked up in mid-December and this campaign is all but over for the midfielder barring the chance of a run-out in the last few games.

The former Bayern Munich man is presently scheduled for a return towards the end of April but nobody would put money on that forecast being an achievable one.

Manchester City v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League
Jan Kirchhoff playing for Bayern Munich against Manchester City in 2013
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

So you may have noticed Kirchhoff being linked with a move to Turkey. The rumoured interest of Supa Lig giants Galatasaray was first mooted by website Turkish-Football.com on Friday and was picked up by elements of the north east press later that day.

Indeed, Kirchhoff was linked with a move back to Germany in December during a rare window of injury-free weeks. Hamburger SV were said to be keen to add the Sunderland man to improve their woeful defensive stats this season but within days of the link hitting the press, the defender-turned-midfielder was crocked again.

Galatasary will be in the market for a defensive midfielder this summer and looking to trade in former Manchester City veteran Nigel de Jong - now aged 34 - for a younger model.

According to football writer Emre Sarigul who covers Turkish football extensively for the likes of the Guardian and the Bleacher Report and the man behind the original Galatasaray story, Kirchhoff is merely one of a number of names currently sitting on a list assembled by scouts to present to Igor Tudor, the coach of the Istanbul giants.

Sarigul told Roker Report that Tudor hasn't sanctioned any further interest in Kirchhoff as yet and that the 38-year-old former Juventus defender-turned-coach has already vetoed a number of suggestions previously put to him by his backroom staff.

Sunderland scouts watching Birmingham City man on loan in Italy

According to Sky Italia reporter Gianluca Di Marzio, Sunderland have been scouting in Italy recently.

The Italian media man claims that former Black Cats defender and coach Gordon Chisholm has been watching Birmingham City's Diego Fabbrini. The attacking midfielder is currently on loan at Serie B side Spezia Calcio.

Nottingham Forest v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship
Diego Fabbrini playing for Birmingham against Nottingham Forest in October
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

At 26-years-of-age, Fabbrini has already played for nine different clubs in Italy and England. Presently signed to Birmingham, the holder of one Italian cap was loaned to Spezia in January having found his appearances limited at the Championship side.

Fabbrini first appeared in England as one of seven Udinese players signed by Watford in 2013 as the Pozzo family - owners of both clubs - encouraged trading between the Serie A and Premier League outfits.

Middlesbrough v Burnley - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Fabbrini playing for Middlesbrough last season
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

From there, four spells out on loan followed including a year at Middlesbrough last season but the Italian found himself behind Gaston Ramirez in the Riverside pecking order once the Uruguayan arrived from Southampton last January.

Fabbrini has played eight times and scored once for Spezia since his move from Birmingham in the last transfer window. Under contract at St Andrews until 2019 he would be a budget addition to Sunderland's squad with the Blues paying just £1.5m for him in the summer.