CELTIC are contemplating an attempt to take Sunderland stopper Craig Gordon back to Scotland.
Bhoys boss Neil Lennon has confirmed his interest in Gordon, with Celtic on the lookout for a new keeper following the departure of Newcastle stopper Fraser Forster, who spent last season on loan at Parkhead.
Sunderland splashed out £9million – a British record for a goalkeeper – to land Gordon from Hearts four years ago, but he is now in the final 12 months of his contract and could move for nothing next summer.
With the arrival of free agent Keiren Westwood, Sunderland are blessed with options in the goalkeeping department and the Black Cats are likely to consider letting the Scotland keeper leave if they receive an acceptable offer.
Lennon, out in Australia with Celtic, said: “He’s a good keeper but whether we could afford him or not is another thing.
“He certainly fits the bill for the type of keeper we’re looking for.”
Gordon has been Sunderland’s first-choice keeper since arriving at the Stadium of Light, but has been blighted by injuries over the last three years.
The 28-year-old has been restricted to 53 top flight appearances during that time and is not expected to resume training until late August after missing the end of last season with a knee injury.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will not consider offering Gordon a new deal until he can prove his fitness and his position is vulnerable with Westwood and Simon Mignolet rivals for the number one spot.
Meanwhile, long-time Sunderland target Charles N’Zogbia is expected to replace Stewart Downing at Aston Villa, if the ex-Middlesbrough winger joins Liverpool this week.
Sunderland insist they have not lodged a bid for N’Zogbia and they are unlikely to after baulking at the player’s £60,000-a-week wage demands.
But it will still be a blow to Bruce if N’Zogbia joins Villa, with the Frenchman on his radar ever since becoming Sunderland boss two years ago.
High wage demands have also led to Sunderland all-but abandoning their interest in Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson.
Gibson will need to significantly lower his salary expectations if the move is to be resurrected, but Sunderland are under no pressure to land the 23-year-old after the capture of midfielders Craig Gardner, Seb Larsson and David Waughan.
The capture of Vaughan could signal the end of Steed Malbranque’s time at Sunderland, too, with the Frenchman in the final 12 months of his contract.
Sunderland are not actively looking to sell Malbranque, but reports over the weekend suggest QPR are on the trail of the ex-Spurs man.
Current Spurs striker Jermain Defoe is not on the way to the Stadium of Light though despite reports linking him with a swap deal involving Black Cats hitman Asamoah Gyan.
The Echo understands talk of a move for Defoe is nonsense and there have been no bids for Gyan either.
H Wantaway Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric hopes he can agree an “appropriate” exit from the club after claiming he was threatened to be placed in exile by chairman Daniel Levy.
Modric said: “Levy doesn’t want to talk to me and said there is no possibility that I can leave Spurs. He threatened me – he said if I didn’t accept the club’s stance, they would make me sit on the bench or in the stands.”