A host of individuals and groups have been linked with investment in – or a takeover of – Sunderland over the last eighteen months, while Donald is understood to be in a period of exclusivity with one potential buyer.
Here, we round-up all the groups who have been linked with the Black Cats, and analyse what their interest eventually came to:
1. Mark Campbell
The English real estate entrepreneur came close to a deal in the summer - before it stalled at an advanced stage. He later went on to launch an unsuccessful bid to buy Scottish side Falkirk.
Photo: Michael Gillen
2. Sammy Yu
The former Birmingham City vice-chairman previously tried to purchase Sunderland when they were owned by Ellis Short - and remains interested in striking a deal. Stewart Donald claims to have reached out to Yu in recent week.
Photo: Steve Ellis
3. Juan Sartori
Donald has previously hinted that Sartori - who currently owns a 20 per cent stake in the club - could take a more active role. Recent reports have suggested that he is trying to find backers to increase his shareholding in the Black Cats.
Photo: Frank Reid
4. Dmitriy Rybolovlev
There has long been hope that Rybolovlev - Sartori's father-in-law and owner of Monaco - could be persuaded to inject some of his vast fortune into the Black Cats. For now, though, it seems unlikely.
Photo: VALERY HACHE