London - Sunderland are poised to sign Fabio Borini from Liverpool with the Italian striker believed to be heading to the northeast for a medical to clear the way for a four-year deal.
If the deal, reported to be worth around £7 million, goes through, it would end a dogged pursuit of a man who played a key role in Sunderland's remarkable escape from Premier League relegation at the end of the 2013/14 season when he was sent out on loan.
The Black Cats' former head coach Gus Poyet had wanted to sign Borini on a full-time contract last summer, but was unable to persuade him turn his back on his ambitions at Anfield.
However, he has been unable to force his way into Brendan Rodgers' plans, making just 18 appearances last season, and has been linked with a series of clubs this summer, several of them in his native Italy.
There had been speculation that Watford could tempt Borini to Vicarage Road, but Sunderland, who collected their second league point of a testing start to the new season in a 2-2 draw at Aston Villa on Saturday, hope to beat them to the punch with a lucrative deal.
Borini's capture would further appease Poyet's successor Dick Advocaat, who has spent recent weeks urging owner Ellis Short and sporting director Lee Congerton to deliver the five or six "quality" summer signings he believes are vital if the club is to avoid yet another scrap for top-flight survival.