Sunderland are in talks to bring in a striker on a permanent basis before Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
The Black Cats made their sixth signing of the summer yesterday when Swedish international midfielder Ola Toivonen joined on a season-long loan from Rennes - leaving Dick Advocaat targeting a new frontman in the final four days of the window.
SportMail understands that Sunderland are already in discussions with a possible target, and that would be a permanent deal, rather than a third loan arrival.
But that player is NOT former loanee Fabio Borini, with the Italian international now highly unlikely to join Sunderland.
Borini is keeping his options open until the end of the window, with Sunderland, West Ham, Inter Milan and Fiorentina all making enquiries, yet, like Jonathan de Guzman, Advocaat is understood to be wary of signing a player who doesn’t appear enthusiastic about a move to the Stadium of Light.
However, Advocaat is confident of landing a striker after spending weeks looking to bring in a targetman capable of leading the line in his favoured 4-3-3 system.
“Up front? We would still like to do something if possible,” he said.
“A striker is our priority now for the end of the window.
“We’ve done really well so far price-wise in the market.
“I still think with the players we have now we have to fight but with one or two, then I will be very happy with this squad.
“And maybe on the last day I will have to make a call!”
Advocaat is also looking at potential loan options to boost Sunderland’s defence, which has shipped 11 goals in the opening four games, prior to today’s trip to Aston Villa.
As the Echo reported earlier this week, Sunderland held talks with Manchester City youngster Jason Denayer over a potential season-long loan, but the Belgian international now looks set to join Turkish outfit Galatasary after rejecting the overtures of French side Marseille.
When asked about his defence, Advocaat said: “I think they did really well at the end of the season last year, but it looks like we’ll have to start again.
“But we can only improve the way we work as a team.
“In principle, we start on Tuesday because then you know what squad you’ve got and you can think about how you want to work with what kind of team.”