SUNDERLAND have edged closer to signing Lazio's Luis Pedro Cavanda after the Italian club identified a replacement for the right-back.
Black Cats officials have already made contact with their Lazio counterparts over the availability of Cavanda, 22, who revealed he would not be signing an extension to his contract that expires next summer.
Cavanda featured heavily for the Serie A club in the first half of last season, but his refusal to sign a new deal resulted in him being dropped for the remainder of the season.
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Knowing they could lose him for nothing next summer, Lazio are looking to sell in this transfer window, but are keen to first secure a replacement.
Anderlecht right-back Marcin Wasilewski has emerged as a potential replacement and if a deal can be agreed, it would free the Angolan-born right-back to join Sunderland once he returns from holiday.
Director of football Roberto de Fanti has been working to secure Paolo Di Canio's fifth summer signing and Cavanda's arrival would almost certainly spell the end of Phil Bardsley's Sunderland career.
The former Manchester United trainee angered Di Canio at the end of last season after being pictured lying on a Casino flow surrounded by £50 notes, with the Black Cats boss admitting he would probably never play for him again.
Bardsley still has time left on his current deal, but could be offered a way out of the Stadium of Light by former Sunderland manager Steve Bruce.
The Hull City boss is building a squad ahead of the club's return to the Premier League next season and having already acquired Wigan left-back Maynor Figueroa, Bruce has now set his sights on Bardsley.
The 27-year-old won't be the last player to leave the Stadium of Light this summer with Di Canio keen to overhaul the squad he inherited from Martin O'Neill.
Titus Bramble and Matt Kilgallon have already left and Bardsley could join the pair alongside David Vaughan.
The midfielder is thought to be surplus to requirements and he could be reunited with former Blackpool boss Ian Holloway at Crystal Palace.
Like Bruce, Holloway is preparing Palace for life in the Premier League and sees Vaughan as an ideal signing.
With the Welsh international's contract at the Stadium of Light due to run out next summer, Sunderland would rather cash in on the midfielder now rather than risk losing him for nothing in 12 months.
Vaughan has also been linked with a move back to Wales, with other Premier League new boys Cardiff City rumoured to have shown interest.
However, the Eagles have already made an inquiry for the 30-year-old.
Meanwhile, former Sunderland youth midfielder Adam Reed has joined League Two side Burton Albion on a one-year deal.
He was also wanted by York City, where he spent five weeks on loan last season, and was previously linked with a move to hometown club Hartlepool.