A consortium consisting of Chinese businessmen have been linked with a £50 million offer to buy Sunderland - despite current owner Stewart Donald denying a takeover is imminent.
Donald and executive director Charlie Methven only purchased the club for a £40million fee a year ago, which was initially expected to be paid in instalments over two years.
The Sunderland owner has since revealed the final payment has been made to previous owner Ellis Short to leave Sunderland debt free - news which is likely to attract potential buyers or investors.
And according to the Sunday Mirror (print edition), a consortium consisting of Chinese businessmen based in Hong Kong are considering a £50 million bid for the Black Cats, depending on whether the club wins promotion from League One this campaign.
Donald admitted earlier this month there has been interest in Sunderland since he took over last summer, yet no potential offers have been right for the club.
Speaking to the Roker Rapport podcast, he also admitted he wouldn't stand in the way if someone wanted to buy Sunderland and 'do a Man City', but only if it benefited the club.
Yet Donald gave a frank answer when asked by a supporter on Twitter whether a takeover was imminent earlier this week, simply replying 'no'.
Even so, the Sunderland owner has made it no secret that he is looking to bring fresh investment to the club - regardless of the division Sunderland find themselves in next season.
Uruguayan businessman Juan Sartori purchased a 20 per cent stake in the Black Cats last summer and Donald admitted it could be an option to increase his share.