Sunderland continue to be linked with a move for ex-Newcastle frontman Andy Carroll, but will have to shell out £18million to land the West Ham man.
The Black Cats have been credited with an interest in Carroll ever since the arrival of Sam Allardyce at the Stadium of Light after the Sunderland boss signed him during his stint in charge at Upton Park.
Hammers boss Slaven Bilic insisted a fortnight ago that Carroll would not be going anywhere in the January window after returning to fitness.
But reports today have indicated that West Ham could sell Carroll for an £18m fee, with both Sunderland and Newcastle mooted to be interested.
However, the Echo understands that even if Sunderland did meet West Ham's asking price, Carroll would be reluctant to join the Black Cats, due to his affiliation with the Magpies.
Allardyce is in the market for a new striker this month, with Danny Graham potentially leaving the Stadium of Light, amidst speculation linking him with a move to Championship Blackburn.
There could also be a new arrival off the pitch at the club, with Leeds United's head of recruitment Martin Glover potentially rejoining Allardyce.
Glover worked with Allardyce at Blackburn and West Ham and could take over some of the duties of ex-sporting director Lee Congerton, who has been placed on gardening leave. Read the full story here
Meanwhile, Allardyce has not held back in a blast at the Premier League for holding a round of midweek fixtures next week.
Sunderland's trip to Swansea next Wednesday is sandwiched by games at Arsenal and Spurs; forcing Allardyce to wring the changes for this Saturday's FA Cup third round tie.
"For me, if you want us to respect the FA Cup then you don’t put a Premier League fixture there, do you?" said Allardyce.