Simon Grayson is eyeing a summer reunion with Aston Villa frontman Ross McCormack.
Although, finances could prove a stumbling block should Sunderland press ahead with their manager's plans to sign the Scotland international.
Grayson is a massive fan of McCormack, who enjoyed a successful spell under the Black Cats boss while at Leeds United.
And the Echo understands that Sunderland have inquired about the availability of the striker, who endured a torrid first season at Villa Park following a big money move from Fulham.
McCormack had a very public falling out with manager Steve Bruce last season, and it had been thought the Villains £12million capture would be made available for transfer this summer.
But reports suggest Bruce is willing to give proven second tier goalscorer McCormack another chance.
Either way due to the player's market value and massive wages the McCormack deal may prove too tough a one for Martin Bain to broker, or the Sunderland hierarchy to sign off on.
Sunderland have so far added four players to their ranks, with the recent captures of James Vaughan and Aiden McGeady, from Bury and Everton respectively, along with Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway.