Sunderland hope to complete the signing of England striker Darren Bent from Tottenham today.
Black Cats assistant manager Eric Black has confirmed the club have moved "very close" to tying up the deal, which is expected to involve a transfer fee of around £12million.
Black, Steve Bruce's number two at the Stadium of Light, is optimistic a deal for Bent will persuade other targets to move to the north-east. Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live on Monday night, Black said: "We're very close. I wouldn't say we're 100% confident we're going to get him. We're hopeful that in the next 24 hours he'll be a Sunderland player."
He added: "His record in the Premier League is outstanding. I think he's scored about 50 goals in 100-odd appearances - a phenomenal return.
"There's a plethora of different things we think he'll bring to Sunderland. He's a big name, he's somebody who has proved he's a Premier League striker, and his return in goals per game is exceptional.
"So getting someone like him up here can only be good for us, and if it can encourage one or two others to take the leap we believe we're going in the right direction."
Bent would join England Under-21 striker Fraizer Campbell, who has moved from Manchester United, Albanian midfielder Lorik Cana from Marseille, and Paraguay defender Paulo da Silva as new signings at Sunderland.
The anticipated fee for Bent would eclipse the club-record £9million which Sunderland spent to bring in Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon from Hearts in August 2007.
Wigan's Lee Cattermole is another Sunderland target but the Latics have resisted attempts to prise the former Middlesbrough midfielder away from the DW Stadium.
Black added: "We put offers in to Wigan which have been refused and he's a Wigan player, it's as simple as that. We rate him very highly because we had him previously and we think without doubt he could do a job at Sunderland, but he is a Wigan player and that remains the case."
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