Sunderland had hoped to land Ross McCormack on a loan deal but Aston Villa would prefer to sell the striker - with reports they want as much as £8million.
The Scot is free to leave Villa Park this summer as Steve Bruce looks to revamp his squad but for now the two clubs are poles apart in their valuation of the striker.
Boss Simon Grayson quickly identified McCormack as a summer target - having successfully worked with him at Leeds United - but cash-strapped Sunderland face being priced out of a move. His wages are also likely to be a major hurdle to overcome.
The Black Cats would prefer a loan deal but their Championship rivals want to recoup a large chunk of the £12million they forked out for the former Fulham striker.
Reading, Derby County and Hull City are also all reported to have enquired about Scotland international McCormack, who turns 31 next month.
Grayson is looking to add another striker to his forward options after signing James Vaughan from Bury and Lewis Grabban on loan from Bournemouth.
Speaking last week, Grayson would not be drawn on the McCormack speculation but said talks are continuing with several targets.
He said: "We’re going to be linked with a lot of players, we’ve been speaking to several players and several agents, seeing if we can get the right deal for many targets that we’ve got, for
some who nobody has even mentioned yet.
"We know it’s an area we need to strengthen, we’ve done it already. Will we have more acquisitions in the top end of the pitch? Probably."
Meanwhile, Villa boss Steve Bruce has rubbished reports linking defender Alan Hutton with a move away from Villa park.
The right-back had been linked with a move to Sunderland this summer but Bruce says he sees Hutton as his first choice right-back.
Bruce said: "I’ve seen him linked with all sorts this summer – I think I’ve been linked with 100 players and the reality is I’ve bought two, loaned one and got two on a free transfer.
"All the nonsense... Alan Hutton is fine, no problem."
Sheffield Wednesday have also been linked with a move for the defender.
Sunderland are well stocked at full back, with right backs Billy Jones, Donald Love and Adam Matthews on the books plus Bryan Oviedo and Brendan Galloway on the other flank.