Jose Mourinho is said to be eyeing up Sunderland star Lee Cattermole in a bid to toughen up his Inter Milan midfield.
The former Chelsea boss is reportedly a huge admirer of the England Under 21 international's combative style and sees him as the perfect player to balance a midfield with attacking talent such as Wesley Sneijder and Dejan Stankovic.
Inter are planning for life after Patrick Vieira and have tried Thiago Motta and Sulley Muntari in central positions, but Cattermole would add an extra dimension.
The 21-year-old Teessider caught the attention of Liverpool in the summer before leaving Wigan Athletic for Sunderland in a £6million deal.
Stadium of Light boss Steve Bruce would put up a fight to keep the former Middlesbrough product, but his performances are apparently attracting some impressive clubs.
Reports in Germany suggest that - as well as Inter - Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona have also sent scouts to the North East so far this season.