Sunderland AFC news: Midfielder set for Italy start, striker closes in on Celtic move

Danny Graham
Danny Graham

Sunderland outcast Emanuele Giaccherini is expected to start for Italy tonight in their Euro 2016 opening game.

Giaccherini is due to leave Sunderland this summer, with Torino at the front of the queue for a £2million move for the 31-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Bologna.

But while Giaccherini never consistently made the grade at Sunderland, reports in Italy have suggested he will start tonight's Group E opener against Belgium as one of the central midfield pair.

Giaccherini's former Sunderland team-mate, Danny Graham, has already parted company with the Black Cats after the striker was formally released by the club last week.

But free agent Graham is a wanted man with reports last night that Celtic are closing in on the signing of the 30-year-old.

Meanwhile, Yann M'Vila's situation at Russian club Ruben Kazan could become clearer next week, as Sunderland bid to re-sign the midfielder.

New Kazan boss Javi Gracia wants all of the club's players - including those who have been out on loan - to report back for pre-season duty next Monday.

M'Vila has another six months to run on his Kazan contract, with Sunderland needing to agree both a transfer fee and personal terms for the 25-year-old.

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