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 today.
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 met the 22-year-old last Saturday despite his agent, Rudy Raba, insisting there was no chance of the player joining Sunderland.
However, the former Auxerre man later revealed he was hugely impressed with what the Irishman had to say, and has since spoken warmly about the prospect of resuming his career at the Stadium of Light.
But despite his problems in establishing himself at White Hart Lane following his move last summer, there have been other interested parties.
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp admitted his club was in the frame last week, but later revealed he understood the defender would be joining Villa.
But Sunderland's proactive approach seemed certain to pay dividends when Raba revealed on Tuesday he expected his client to make a decision within 24 hours.
However, he is now understood to have asked the Black Cats for another 24 hours, and with Villa now stepping up their pursuit, the deal could be in the balance.
Sunderland made a bold move last week when they tabled a joint bid of around £16million for Kaboul, Teemu Tainio, Pascal Chimbonda and Steed Malbranque.
Finnish midfielder Tainio has completed his move, while there have been positive noises from Chimbonda.
However, there has been no word on Malbranque and Kaboul's future now appears to be uncertain.