The Irishman could have been forgiven for thinking he had all but landed the Morocco-born Frenchman when he indicated his intention to head for Wearside on Friday to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms.
However, Villa are understood to have registered their interest after a week of speculation since the Black Cats tabled their joint bid for Kaboul, Teemu Tainio, Pascal Chimbonda and Steed Malbranque.
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