Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher is on the verge of completing a surprise move to French side Marseille.
The 28-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is understood to have headed to France on Monday in a bid to tie up a switch to the Ligue 1 club.
Fletcher, a £12million signing from Wolves in August 2012, has scored 23 goals in 108 appearances for the Black Cats, but has found himself on the periphery of Sam Allardyce’s team in recent weeks.
Allardyce has re-shaped his squad extensively this month with five new signings – Steve Harper, Jan Kirchhoff, Lamine Kone, Wahbi Khazri and Dame N’Doye – and Fletcher’s departure would further ease pressure on the wage bill following the departures of Costel Pantilimon, Sebastian Coates, Charis Mavrias and Danny Graham.
Out-and-out frontman N’Doye and attacking midfielder Khazri have boosted the club’s resources going forward, but they have also been tracking a series of other potential targets in recent days.