Hull City centre-back Curtis Davies has been ruled out for around eight weeks with a hamstring injury, amid speculation the Premier League strugglers are poised to bring in Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia.
Davies limped off during the opening stages Hull's 4-1 FA Cup defeat to Championship Fulham on Sunday.
A brief statement posted on the club's official website confirmed the severity of the 31-year-old's injury and reports on Monday suggested Marco Silva could quickly secure cover at centre-back.
Ranocchia, who has 21 caps for Italy, has been linked with a loan move to the KCOM Stadium until the end of the season by Italian media.
The 28-year-old has been restricted to nine appearances for Inter this season.