Following the arrival of Alfred N'Diaye, are Sunderland preparing the ground for another foray into the transfer market?
Just as one giant behemoth of African descent arrives at Sunderland, it seems that there may be another on his way to join him.
Reports from the Middle East suggest that 29-year-old Senegalese central defender Kader Mangane is featuring prominently in Martin O'Neill's thinking and a 'serious offer' from Sunderland has been lodged with his club Al-Hilal.
The 6'5" Mengane is a former West Ham and Arsenal target, and is apparently struggling to settle following a move from Rennes last summer.
He is also notable for being hit with a 2-month Ligue 1 ban in 2009 for breaking the leg of Valenciennes midfielder Jonathan Lacourt in a... well let's say 'robust' challenge. It was an incident that saw him become something of a hate-figure in France in much the similar way Ryan Shawcross has had his reputation tarnished here.
Is there anything in this story? We think it probably has some legs. The source is quite a major news outlet in Saudi Arabia so will likely bet getting their stories from a fully regulated news agency. It has also been suggested that the player himself has recently put in a transfer request.
Another interesting one to follow.