Baines in Black Cats talks
By Peter ORourke. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Skysports.com understands Sunderland have opened talks with Leighton Baines over a possible move to the Stadium of Light.
The England Under 21 international is believed to have been on Wearside over the weekend to hold talks with Black Cats boss Roy Keane.
Wigan are thought to have reluctantly given Baines permission to talk to Sunderland after the Black Cats finally agreed a price for the full-back.
Sunderland have been chasing the highly-rated defender all summer and they have seen several bids rejected by Wigan.
However, Sunderland are now believed to have met Wigan's valuation of Baines with Keane determined to lure him to the North East.
Keane is a big fan of the left-back and sees him as a key addition to his ambitious plans for the new season in the Premier League.
The Irishman is now hoping to persuade Baines to swap the JJB Stadium for the Stadium of Light with a number of others reported to be waiting in the wings for the defender.
Baines is now thought to be mulling over his options as he considers where his future lies.