SUNDERLAND are hopeful of wrapping up a deal for Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso.
Reports in Italy today indicated that Fiorentina defender Alonso was on the verge of joining Sunderland on loan until the end of the season and is due to undergo a medical at the Stadium of Light.
And SportMail understands, Sunderland ARE ready to make the 22-year-old’s Gus Poyet first signing as Black Cats boss when the January transfer window opens next Wednesday.
Signing a new left-back has been one of Poyet’s main priorities in the market, with Andrea Dossena the only specialist available in the squad, albeit right-back Phil Bardsley has impressed there over recent games.
And last week, Sunderland were given the go-ahead from Fiorentina to sign Alonso, who crucially boasts experience of English football - an attribute Poyet has identified as pivotal to new arrivals.
Former Real Madrid trainee Alonso made 46 appearances for Bolton - nine of which were in the Premier League - before joining Fiorentina on a three-year deal during the summer.
But he has featured just three times in Serie A this season and the Italians have been happy for Sunderland to cover his wages.
Sunderland are also thought to be keen on making a couple of extra additions before the window slams shut.
Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt, who played under Poyet at the Amex Stadium, continues to be linked with a move to Wearside, while Sunderland are also thought to be investigating potential striking options.