Sunderland have agreed a deal to sign Le Havre's teenage defender Benjamin Mendy, according to the French club.
Despite being only 18, Mendy has significant experience having made 57 appearances in the last two seasons in Ligue 2 and represented France at Under-16 to Under-18 level.
Le Havre president Jean-Pierre Louvel told Radio Monte Carlo: "We have reached agreement with Sunderland for the transfer of Mendy. It's now up to him to reach an agreement with them. We are okay."
The left-back has also been courted by Lyon, and Louvel did not rule out the Champions League qualifiers returning to hijack the deal.
"We were close to an agreement with Lyon, it has not happened but you never know," he said.
"Right now, the only club we are in agreement with is Sunderland and it is now up to Benjamin Mendy to make his choice."
Arsenal have also been linked with the highly-rated teenager.
Sources on Wearside played down claims that their interest in the defender is at an advanced stage, but confirmed he is very much in the club's sights as they attempt to boost the playing staff at both senior and development levels.
Sunderland have been without a specialist left-back for some time, with loan signing Danny Rose having plugged a gap - which has also been filled at times by midfielders Kieran Richardson and Jack Colback and right-back Phil Bardsley.
It would come as no surprise even if manager Paolo Di Canio did manage to land the Longjumeau-born player if he also opted to bring in a more senior man for the same position in a bid to give the cover the club has lacked for some time.