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Premier League strugglers Sunderland offered Pazzini on loan

Sunderland, 3/1 chances with Coral to be relegated, have reportedly been offered AC Milan and ex-Italy international Giampaolo Pazzini on loan in the winter window by the Serie A giants.

Black Cats boss Gus Poyet will be worried that his side are the third-lowest scorers in the Premier League, netting just 11 times this term so far. Six of those have come courtesy of current first-choice strike pairing Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham, who is out of contract at the Stadium of Light this coming summer.

Italian poacher Pazzini, 30, is an upgrade on those names and USA international Jozy Altidore for Poyet. He also counts Fiorentina, current Serie A high-fliers Sampdoria and Milan’s bitter rivals Inter among his former clubs.

At the San Siro, Pazzini is presently out of favour under former Rossoneri striking great Filippo Inzaghi. Chelsea’s £50m flop Fernando Torres is on loan at Milan and keeping him out of the XI, despite continuing to misfire.

It’s not just Sunderland who are reportedly interested in Pazzini, however, with fellow relegation candidates Aston Villa (7/2) and QPR (evens) also targeting a temporary move for him.

Having loaned Darren Bent out and with Czech frontman Libor Kozak still recovering from a broken leg, Paul Lambert is heavily reliant on Christian Benteke, just back from injury and suspension, for goals at Villa Park. The West Midlands outfit are the Premier League’s shyest attack, therefore, with just eight strikes so far.

QPR, meanwhile, are in the bottom three and could do with someone to take the pressure off leading marksman Charlie Austin, who has netted seven of the Hoops’ 11 league goals.

Pazzini’s presence in England could go one of two ways. The centre forward might make a similar impact to compatriot Graziano Pelle, who started really strongly at Southampton, or flop like Liverpool’s £16m summer signing Mario Balotelli.

Most signs point to a positive potential influence, though, as Pazzini has been pretty prolific when given regular football. In Serie A, he has scored three goals shy of 100 in 300 appearances.