Internacional vice-president Marcelo Medeiros has laid out the terms under which Sunderland can sign Ignacio Scocco.
It had been thought the Brazilian club were looking for around £6.5m for their Argentinian attacker.
For a club threatened by relegation and looking to make at least three other signings in addition to the already-arrived Marcus Alonso, that represented a big risk.
However, Medeiros has said Inter will settle for a temporary move.
He said: “He can leave permanently or on loan.
“If the latter, the club who want him will have to pay the player’s salary in full and pay us for the loan.”
Sunderland coach Gustavo Poyet has confirmed his interest in the 28-year-old attacking midfielder or forward.
La Liga side Valencia are also thought to be monitoring Scocco, but the player’s father Hector has said his son prefers a move to Wearside.
Agent Fabian Soldini is expected to meet with Inter officials today to try to push through a move.
The Black Cats are in real need of a centre-forward with Steven Fletcher and Jozy Altidore desperately short on confidence.
Fletcher has three goals this season, Altidore two, but Poyet has been reluctant to look beyond the pair.
Ji Dong-won is yet to score and could be allowed to move back to the Bundesliga, where he had a successful loan spell last season.
Poyet has shown no interest in recalling Connor Wickham from a productive loan at Championship Sheffield Wednesday and he sees Fabio Borini – himself on loan from Liverpool – as a wide forward.
The Argentina international, who is recovering from an ankle injury, scored 35 goals for Newells Old Boys last season but only has four in 19 since joining Inter.
Alonso has already signed on loan from Fiorentina, but Poyet is keen to add a central defender, a goalkeeper and a centre-forward to his squad too.
He was also looking for a winger, but Adam Johnson’s recent form could have prolonged his Sunderland career.
Amid reports Manchester United are showing an interest in Vito Mannone, Real Betis have had a £1.2m bid for Mariano Andujar rejected by Catania.
The Italians are keen to move the 30-year-old on but felt the offer was derisory for Argentina’s second-choice goalkeeper.
With doubts over whether Keiren Westwood will play for the club again – he is not expected to recover from a shoulder injury before the end of his contract – the Black Cats have targeted Andujar.
Although a confirmed fan of the Argentinian, Poyet will not want to lose Mannone, one of his side’s best performers since displacing the unfortunate Westwood.
The Red Devils are in the market for a second-choice goalkeeper, with Anders Lindegaard expected to be part of a David Moyes clearout this year.
Sunderland are also said to be considering £3m-rated central defender Borja Ekiza, who has been told to find a new club by Athletic Bilbao.
The arrival of 25-year-old Ekiza, or top target Santiago Vergini, could be offset by loaning Modibo Diakite to Genoa.
Sources in Italy suggest the clubs have reached an agreement for Diakite to follow team-mate Cabral, who has joined on loan with a view to a permanent move.
Cabral was one of Sunderland’s most impressive performers in pre-season and began the campaign in the starting 11.
However, then-coach Di Canio quickly cooled on him and he has not featured since August’s League Cup win over Milton Keynes Dons.
The Italian said the holding midfielder “has failed to adapt to the dynamism of English football.
“He needs time to adjust but in Italy he may have more chances given the pace of the game. Wait before you judge him.”
Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest are keen to make David Vaughan’s loan move permanent this month.
That would suit the Black Cats, who would lose the midfielder on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Vaughan has not featured under Poyet and is on loan at the City Ground along with Hul City’s Jack Hobbs.
Owner Fawaz Al Hasawi said: “Both I and the manager are working hard to make both deals permanent.”