Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet has confirmed Lee Cattermole could yet leave the club ahead of Friday night's transfer deadline.
Poyet revealed the Black Cats have received a second, improved bid for the midfielder, who has been linked with Stoke for several days.
However, he insisted the offer had not been accepted by 3pm and that the former Middlesbrough and Wigan man's departure on the eve of the Tyne-Wear derby was by no means a foregone conclusion.
Poyet said: "We cannot confirm anything because nothing is finalised, but talks are still ongoing.
"It's a very, very difficult situation for me as a manager."