Sunderland are confident winning the race for Le Havre midfielder El-Hadji Ba.

The Journal says Sunderland watched long-term target Ba in action for France's under-20 side against Denmark in midweek.

He started the game, which ended in a 3-2 win for France, and was also watched by Newcastle chief scout Graham Carr and representatives from Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham.

But Ba, who Sunderland were first offered last summer, is understood to favour a move to Wearside if something can be negotiated.