CELTIC and Sunderland are heading for a transfer tug-of-war for Brescia star Ahmad Benali.
Hoops boss Ronny Deila is already aware of the Manchester-born Libya international midfielder’s situation.
But Stadium of Light chief Gus Poyet has now expressed an interest in the 22-year-old who will be out of contract in the summer.
The former Manchester City youth player wants to move this month because of a wages dispute with hard-up Brescia.
His agent has asked for a free transfer because of the problems over pay, but the Serie B club aren’t prepared to back down.
Benali came through the Manchester United academy and, despite signing professional forms on his 17th birthday, never made a first team appearance.
He had a brief loan spell at Rochdale before heading to Italy in 2012.
Bengali has played for the England Under-17 side, but opted to represent Libya at full international level.