Sheffield Wednesday striker Jordan Rhodes is wanted by Sunderland boss Simon Grayson, it has been revealed.
The Star report the Black Cats have made an inquiry about the striker's availability though no bid has been lodged at this stage.
Sunderland's desperate need for further firepower up front was again highlighted in the dismal 3-0 defeat to Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday afternoon with work ongoing behind-the-scenes to try and bolster the attack before Thursday's 11pm deadline.
Grayson is understood to be a big fan of Rhodes having worked with him at Huddersfield Town and the Black Cats would prefer a loan deal if they firm up their interest.
Rhodes, the Owls’ £8m record-signing, has struggled to make a big impact at Hillsborough. He has scored only five goals in 25 appearances since moving from Middlesbrough.
Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack remains the No.1 priority with talks ongoing around how much of his wage packet Sunderland would pick up, his departure was expected to speed up once Villa had confirmed the signing of Robert Snodgrass from West Ham United on loan.
In the wake of the Barnsley defeat Grayson admitted he needs more quality in the final days of the transfer window.
Grayson added: "We know that after the window shuts we’ve got players coming back. Over the next few days its probably going to be a lot of hard work. You never know, nothing might happen.
"Obviously we want to bring players in and others going out will help us get even more in.
"We'll have to see where we go with it all, which is what we've been saying for the last few weeks."
Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal has rotated his strikers this season and Rhodes has only started two Championship games.
The Star report Carvalhal is eager to bring in reinforcements but has not ruled out players departing Hillsborough.
Carvalhal said: "All the players in my teams can go if it is good business for the club.
"I don’t block any business in the club. If a player goes, we will try to solve the problem internally. If that is not possible, we will try to go outside to cover the position."