For much of the summer, Aston Villa have been the prey rather than the predator, with Liverpool hovering over Gareth Barry like a beady-eyed kestrel. However, the Villans have stood firm on their asking price and have now gone on the attack to try and steal a Spurs defender from under the noses of one of their Premier League rivals.
It had been thought that Younes Kaboul moving to the Stadium of Light was a done deal, with the centre-half thought to be impressed by the set-up at Sunderland. However, will his head be turned by the potential prospect of European football at Villa Park instead? The Press Association reports that this is a firm possibility.
Sunderland boss Roy Keane faces an anxious wait over his pursuit of defender Younes Kaboul after Aston Villa made a late bid to hijack the deal.
PA Sport understands Villa tabled an undisclosed offer for the Tottenham man at the 11th hour with the Morocco-born player due to head for Wearside for a medical on Friday.
Kaboul has now asked the Black Cats for more time, and Keane will have to keep his fingers crossed as he looks to land his second new signing this week.
Keane has already landed Teemu Tainio from Tottenham (try saying that after a few drinks), and is said to be interested in a couple of other Spurs rejects that go by the name of Steed Malbranque and Pascal Chimbonda. However, can he offer them anything more than another relegation scrap?