Livorno president Aldo Spinelli has claimedpursuit of striker Paulinho is "at an advanced stage".
However, he has dismissed reports on Monday that a bumper bid of €7.5m had been submitted for the Brazilian, who hit 20 goals last season in Serie B as Livorno secured a return to the Italian top flight.
Speaking to the Italian press, Spinelli said:
Paulinho has admirers, and I can confirm Sampdoria are one of them. It isn't done yet, but they are at an advanced stage. The same can be said for Sunderland.
I don't know where the Italian media got the figure of €7.5m from, though.
As for Monaco, it is a bit early for him I think, even if he himself is open to any proposals.
Personally, I am not sure how much there is in this one. At this stage of the summer, everyone has an agenda so it is tough to take too much at face value.
It is entirely possible that Sunderland's name is being thrown in there as an attempt to drive Sampdoria's offer up, who do seem to have a genuinely strong interest in the player. It wouldn't surprise me at all.
Nevertheless, another interesting link and one to add to the growing list of stories we'll be keeping tabs on this summer.