Wigan are finally ready to admit defeat in their attempt to keep Lee Cattermole out of former manager Steve Bruce's clutches.
Sunderland boss Bruce has upped his bid for the England Under 21 international to £10million and the former Middlesbrough midfielder is understood to have had a medical.
Cattermole, who has also sparked interest from Liverpool after a full season at Wigan under Bruce and his impressive showing at the UEFA championships in Sweden this summer, has told Wigan he would like to return to the North East.
Wigan owner Dave Whelan and Bruce's successor Roberto Martinez were hoping to persuade Cattermole to stay but are now prepared to accept Sunderland's improved offer which will take Bruce's summer spending to £25m.
The Sunderland boss has already added Darren Bent, Fraizer Campbell, Paulo da Silva and Lorik Cana and wants an experienced Premier League central defender, with Sylvain Distin and Richard Dunne still at the top of his list.
Bruce said: 'I'd like to add another couple of new signings before the end of the transfer window. I'm hopeful that one deal might go through before Saturday but the other might take a little longer.'