Fabio Borini is on the cover of Rome newspaper Il Messaggero this morning as his exit from the Stadium of Light looks set to be confirmed this week.
The Italian daily report that the Sunderland attacker is on the verge of joining Lazio in a season-long loan deal with €1million paid upfront with an option to buy for a further €4.5million.
Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi reportedly knows Borini from holidaying in Formentera. A favourite spot for footballers, the island lies just to the south of Ibiza in the Balearics. The Biancocelesti boss is keen to add the former Liverpool man to bolster his attacking options as he plots a Europa League campaign next season.
Yesterday, fellow Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the Rome club's sporting director is due to travel to England today for a meeting with the Sunderland hierarchy to finalise the deal for Borini.
There is also the small matter of the player's wage demands to resolve with the 26-year-old one of the highest earners at the Stadium of Light after his transfer from Liverpool in 2015. Borini will likely have to take a drop on his Sunderland salary.
Reports suggest AC Milan have also made contact with the manager-less Black Cats to enquire after the attacker but Lazio remain in pole position.
The 26-year-old Italian had a poor season at relegated Sunderland with just two goals in twenty-four appearances in the campaign which ended last month.
Borini was finally signed on a permanent basis when Dick Advocaat was boss at the Stadium of Light two years ago. Following a successful loan spell in 2013/14 the Italian landed for an initial fee of £7.75m rising to £10m with add-ons.
With a decade now in England, Borini rose through the youth system at Bologna but never made a senior appearance at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara. He was snapped up from Italy by Chelsea as a 16-year-old.
Whilst at Chelsea, Borini then had loan spells at Swansea City and Parma before joining Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers first signing in 2012.
Injuries hampered his first year at Anfield but Borini became a fan favourite on Wearside after joining Sunderland on loan in 2013 with some memorable goals including crucial strikes against Newcastle.
Borini then returned to Liverpool in a bid to establish himself on Merseyside before a lengthy pursuit by Sunderland saw him land back at the Stadium of Light in 2015.
Utilised as a wide man by successive managers, Sam Allardyce and David Moyes, Borini cut an increasingly frustrated figure in a red-and-white shirt this year.
Borini picked up an injury at the start of the campaign and subsequently missed nearly three months of the season under David Moyes. Upon his return he managed a paltry return with some desperately below-par showings as Sunderland slumped to relegation.