Arsenal and Liverpool have been told they will have to pay at least £9m to land the Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Both clubs have now made approaches to Sunderland to sign the Belgian keeper, who is eager to leave the Stadium of Light. However neither Arsenal nor Liverpool have been able to reach the minimum asking fee for the 25-year-old.
Sunderland have reluctantly decided to sell the keeper, who was their player of the year for the season just finished. Mignolet has two years left on the contract he signed when he arrived from Sint-Truiden in 2010 for £2m and club bosses fear they will lose value if they do not sell now. They have also been swayed by Mignolet's wishes to leave the Stadium of Light and move to a higher profile club to help his international aspirations ahead of next year's World Cup finals in Brazil.
Arsenal's intention to make a move for the goalkeeper was revealed in the Independent in April. Arsene Wenger wants the emerging Mignolet as his number one next season as he prepares to embark on a crucial season and has the added incentive of offering Champions League football to help the goalkeeper's international ambitions.
Liverpool are preparing for the possibility of life without Pepe Reina but Brendan Rodgers must convince Mignolet to move to a club that cannot even offer Europa League football next season.
Sunderland had hoped for a figure of £10m but have accepted Mignolet's contract situation has cost them. They did try to renegotiate his deal earlier in the year but talks did not develop. Sunderland are also prepared to sell their forward Stephane Sessegnon. They want at least the £6m that was paid to sign the Benin international from Paris St Germain in 2011. Marseille have shown an interest but there has been no offer for the striker.