Black Cats still want Liverpool man, but they are looking elsewhere just in case.
Sunderland have identified former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou as a possible alternative to top transfer target Fabio Borini, according to the Sunderland Echo.
Liverpool striker Borini spent last season on loan at the Stadium of Light, scoring 10 goals.
The Black Cats wanted to sign him on a permanent basis and they agreed a £14m fee with Liverpool, before the move stalled.
Sunderland remain keen on bringing Borini back to Wearside for a second spell, but another loan switch now seems more likely than a permanent transfer.
Concerned that they may fail in their bid to convince the Italian to rejoin, Sunderland have lined up other targets.
They enquired about Eduardo Vargas, who eventually joined Queens Park Rangers on loan from Napoli on Thursday.
Sunderland are now considering a move for Kalou, 29.
Kalou, who scored 60 goals during six seasons at Chelsea, now plays for Lille.
The French club are keen to secure £4m if they sell the Ivory Coast international, but Sunderland would prefer to strike a loan deal.
Worryingly, winger Adam Johnson was Sunderland’s top goalscorer last season, netting eight times in the Premier League.
However, the Black Cats have been boosted by the return to fitness of Scotland star Steven Fletcher.
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