Sunderland will today unveil Manchester United duo Paddy McNair and Donald Love – with club-mate Adnan Januzaj next on the wanted list.
David Moyes is keen to be reunited with Januzaj, with United looking for the attacking midfielder to go out on a season-long loan rather than a permanent deal.
Sunderland face fierce competition from several clubs including AC Milan and Lazio to land the 21-year-old Belgian international.
But Sunderland are believed to be in pole position to land the midfielder, who was given his debut by Moyes.
Centre-back McNair and right-back Love had medicals at the club’s training base yesterday, with Moyes hopeful of having both in his squad in time to face Manchester City on Saturday.
The Black Cats are understood to have agreed a combined £5.5million fee for the 21-year-old defenders. But their arrival is set to increase the chances of Lamine Kone moving to Everton for a deal worth upwards of £18million.
Sources in the North West say Everton remain confident they can tie up a deal by the end of the week.
That is despite the 27-year-old coming out and confirming he wants to stay at Sunderland – although he is yet to be offered a new deal he claims he was promised by the club.
The Ivory Coast international, who trained at the Academy of Light yesterday, has four years left to run on his existing deal, with the Black Cats in a strong bargaining position.
Everton confirmed Ashley Williams’ arrival in a deal worth £9million yesterday but are expected to come back in for Kone as they look to rebuild their defence in the wake of John Stones’s £47.5million move to Manchester City.
Kone was understood to be on Merseyside on Monday before returning to Sunderland training yesterday.
His agent, Mark McKay, has confirmed Kone is available for the trip to Manchester City, adding he is yet to be offered a new contract – something the defender confirmed after being caught on camera leaving training yesterday.
As Kone drove away, the defender was asked by a group of supporters for an update on his future by fans and he replied: “The club promised me a new contract.”
And when asked if he wanted to stay, he said: “Yeah.”
It is understood that Sunderland will not sanction any deal until they have added defensive reinforcements.
The arrival of McNair and Love will take Sunderland’s spending this summer to £13.5million after the £8m signing of former Chelsea centre-back Papy Djilobodji.
Moyes is also looking to add another striker to his squad to support Jermain Defoe, who has returned to training after a thigh strain, and an attacking midfielder.
A deal for Yann M’Vila, who starred on loan last season, remains in the pipeline but is no further forward, with concerns over the £5million price tag for a player who has less than six months to run on his Rubin Kazan contract.