One player who has been linked with a move to Sunderland in recent weeks is Azerbaijan international Bahlul Mustafazade, a 22-year-old defender who plays for Sabah in the Azerbaijan Premier League.
Earlier this month, Russian website Azerisport reported the Black Cats had entered talks to sign Mustafazade who was reluctant to respond to speculation.
Scottish champions Celtic have also been credited with interest in the young centre-back and, while remaining coy on a potential destination, Mustafazade says he would be open to a move abroad.
“Of course. I really want to,” Mustafazade told Azerisport when asked about leaving his homeland.
“I can’t name specifically which club. They did not say anything to me, there was no official proposal. But for development it is necessary to speak abroad.
“I am aware of this (speculation). If there is such an option, then it must be considered.”
Another player who has been linked with the Black Cats is Spanish midfielder Alex Gorrin, who instead signed for Oxford from Scottish side Motherwell in the summer.
Oxford boss Karl Robinson has since claimed Sunderland also tried to sign the 26-year-old, who has been a regular for the U’s in League One this season.
“We only had some small competition from Sunderland, but other than that it was quite an easy one to get done,” said Robinson. “We’re very thankful he’s here.”