It has been revealed that Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar was a transfer target for Sunderland in the January window, alongside two unnamed clubs that also failed in attempts to sign the Senegalese striker.
The 22-year old has struggled to break into the starting eleven for Viola this season, but despite this Fiorentina "didn't consider the offers" from the interested parties, says his agent Patrick Bastianelli as he spoke to Radio Blu in Italy.
It could have been a shrewd move
The man representing Babacar told the radio station that besides the interest from Sunderland, there were "another two clubs" that were interested in acquiring the services of the striker, who has netted 12 times in 55 appearances for Fiorentina since 2009, as well as enjoying loan spells at Racing Santander, Padova and Modena. The latter represented a successful spell in the 2013/14 season, as he scored 20 goals in 41 games for the Serie B outfit.
Bastianelli also revealed that as well as Fiorentina's reluctance to let the player leave. Babacar "always showed his attachment to the city" and was not interested in making the move to Wearside, meaning Sam Allardyce turned his attention to Dame N'Doye who opted to join the Black Cats on loan from Turkish side Trabzonspor.
One of the other two clubs interested in the player is said to have been the current club of former Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew, Crystal Palace. They were also unable to tempt the striker away from Stadio Artemio Franchi, and ultimately made the decision to sign Emmanuel Adebayor instead.
Preparation for West Ham underway
Sunderland are currently in Dubai for a warm weather training camp, with no fixture this weekend in the Barclays Premier League for the side after their exit away to holders Arsenal in the FA Cup third round.
The club's next Premier League encounter comes against Allardyce's former employers West Ham, on February 27.