Steven N'Zonzi has handed in a transfer request, which could strengthen the rumour that Sunderland are very keen on securing his services.
Speculation is sure to be ramped up now, as Blackburn boss Steve Kean has revealed that in-demand midfielder Steven N'Zonzi has requested a transfer.
N'Zonzi was left out of a preseason tour of Austria amid speculation he was heading out of the club, with ourselves apparently very highly interested in acquiring his services.
Kean told BBC Lancashire earlier today that this is the reason N'Zonzi was left out, and the Frenchman has been very forthright in voicing his opinion on where his future lies;
He's asked for a transfer, hence why he never went to [the training camp in] Austria. He doesn't want to play for the club any longer.
I had two meetings with his father and he wants to play elsewhere. We'll be listening to offers, but as it stands, he remains under contract and we haven't had any offers at all.
Last week it was said that N'Zonzi was high on Martin O'Neill's wishlist. As recently as this week local newspapers, and most informed journalists claimed that we were 'leading the race' for his signature.
However, from a fans perspective it's difficult to see where he would fit into things - Lee Cattermole and Jack Colback should surely sit ahead of him in the pecking order, while it would be difficult to justify a high fee for him when David Vaughan, Craig Gardner, David Meyler and possibly Seb Larsson can all do a job in a central position.
Creation is what we're badly missing from midfield, and while N'Zonzi is a fine player, I'd be happy to see him move elsewhere while we focused on more important aspects of the team.
Perhaps if the earlier rumours about Blackburn being interested in Matt Kilgallon are true, the defender could be used as a make-weight for N'Zonzi which might make the move more a little easier to get on board with.
It looks like "N'Zonzi to Sunderland" could be a long-running rumour this summer.