Sunderland are close to bringing Grant Leadbitter back to Wearside on a permanent deal, with the Middlesbrough skipper due for a medical on Monday.
Leadbitter is due at the Academy of Light for his medical after terms were agreed with Middlesbrough.
Jack Ross has identified central midfield as an area he wants to strengthen and sees the 33-year-old as a strong option as he seeks promotion back to the Championship.
Sunderland are set for a busy few days before Thursday's 11pm deadline with two strikers also wanted by Ross, with the Black Cats remaining in negotiations for Wigan Athletic striker Will Grigg - the No.1 January target.
Chairman Stewart Donald has told supporters he is confident he will deliver before the window shuts.
"I appreciate the concern but I cannot give answers to all the questions till the window closes," he said.
"We have a busy few days so let’s see what happens.
"We expect to make at least 3 more signings but lets try not to have the inquest till the window shuts."
The move for Leadbitter has taken slightly longer than expected but Boro boss Tony Pulis admits it will be a 'wonderful' move for the 33-year-old.
Pulis said: "He’s a Sunderland lad, and it’d be a wonderful move for him.
"Grant has a lot of affection for Sunderland, as he does with this club.
"We'll do anything we can. But the finances are out of my hands, they’re between both parties."
Leadbitter - who made over 100 appearances for his boyhood club - left the Black Cats in 2009 to join Roy Keane's Ipswich Town.
Since moving to Middlesbrough in 2012 he has made over 200 appearances, but game time has been rare this season and he has just eight appearances in all competitions.