Sunderland are on the trail of Greek World Cup star Panagiotis Kone

26-year-old Bologna midfielder Panagiotis Kone is available after fine season in Serie A

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Panagiotis Kone in action for Greece
Panagiotis Kone in action for Greece

Sunderland are on the trail of highly-rated Greek international Panagiotis Kone.

Reports in Italy revealed Gus Poyet has had the Bologna midfielder watched, although the 26-year-old is on the wanted list of a number of Italian clubs.

Torino, Palermo and Lazio, who were favourites to sign him, are also in the hunt for the player, currently at the World Cup with his country, with a fee or close to £3m mentioned.

Despite Bologna being relegated from Serie A last season, Kone was by far his side’s best player, which is why so many are interested in signing him.

Although the fee does seem a bit low for an established international who has done well in Brazil after two good seasons in Italy’s top flight.

Kone will leave his club this summer and it was expected he remain in Italy.

However, he has spoken in the past about playing in English football and the Premier League, so Poyet would be in with a chance of landing this genuinely talented player.

Kone, who can also play on the wing, began his career with AEK Athens and has proved over the past two seasons to be an outstanding attacking midfielder with an eye for goal.

There was also a suggestion Sunderland had made the first move to sign Fabio Borini on a permanent transfer.

The Italian, who scored in the Capital One Cup final and both derby wins, would be a more than welcome piece of news on Wearside.

When on his game, the Liverpool player was a class act, particularly in the second half of the season. It was reported an £8m bid has been made with an additional payment of £2m to be made in the future.

Sunderland, meanwhile, have announced a new long-term partnership with global sportswear giant adidas until 2020.

Sunderland’s chief executive, Margaret Byrne, said: “Adidas are one of the most iconic sporting brands in the world and our partnership with them has gone from strength to strength in the last two years.

“We are looking forward to developing the growing interest in Sunderland AFC, both domestically and internationally, with adidas, a brand leader in world football.”

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