Sunderland and Saint-Etienne have finally reached agreement over the transfer of attacking midfielder Wahbi Khazri according to reports in France. French newspaper L'Equipe suggest Les Verts will pay €7m with a potential further €3m off add-ons.
Fresh from the World Cup, the report suggests the 27-year-old will sign a four-year contract with the side who finished seventh in Ligue 1 last season. Khazri scored a couple of goals and provided two assists during the group stages of the tournament in Russia but couldn't fire Tunisia into the knock-out stages.
Khazri spent last season on loan at Stade Rennais and enjoyed a successful stint with the Brittany-based outfit. Rennes qualified for the Europa League as the Sunderland-owned man scored 9 goals in France's top division.
The Tunisian was signed by Sam Allardyce for Sunderland in January 2016 and after a successful initial period as Big Sam kept the side up, his spell became increasingly frustrating under David Moyes. Khazri only started seven games as the Black Cats were relegated from the Premier League and after featuring in last summer's pre-season games under Simon Grayson, the Corsican-born player departed on loan towards the end of the transfer window.
The report in L'Equipe suggests Khazri will earn a gross €4m a year with Saint-Etienne, the equivalent of around £60,000-a-week. That's a huge salary for a French club to be paying.
Les Verts have perhaps made room in their wage bill by off-loading former Sunderland midfielder Yann M'Vila. The French midfielder is reportedly on the verge of signing for Crystal Palace, though Fulham have also been credited with an interest.
M'Vila played in the same Sunderland side as Khazri under Allardyce and became a firm favourite on Wearside during his loan spell from Russian outfit Rubin Kazan. The 28-year-old joined Saint-Etienne last summer.