Sunderland’s Championship rivals Aston Villa are leading the chase to sign West Ham United ace Robert Snodgrass on loan.
Villa are in advanced talks with the Hammers over securing Snodgrass on a loan deal, report Sky Sports.
Sunderland boss Simon Grayson had made it clear the Scotland international was a target before the end of the transfer window, which closes on August 31.
The Black Cats are also trying to broker a deal but face added competition from Birmingham City.
As it currently stands Villa appear closest to reaching an agreement for the 29-year-old who was told last week he was surplus to requirements.
Snodgrass had been linked with a move to Wearside earlier in the summer and Grayson confirmed his interest last Friday.
He stressed in the aftermath of the 2-0 home defeat to Leeds United that it would only be a loan deal if an agreement could be reached but he has always said that finances will dictate, with Sunderland working under a strict budget this season.
Ultimately, in part it will come down to who can pay the largest portion of his wages.
Speaking after the Leeds United defeat, Grayson said: “I can you tell you now we won’t be buying Robert Snodgrass because of the fee and the wages that come with it.
“The only way we would get Robert Snodgrass is a loan deal or something like that.
“There won’t be too many clubs who can afford him in the Championship and if they do then they have some serious money behind him.
“I like him, though, like a lot of other managers.
“We will ask the question about his availability but it will be affected by finances whoever takes him, I’m 99 per cent sure nobody in the Championship will afford his full wages.”
Grayson is looking to add further new faces to his squad before next week’s deadline but they face a battle to land Snodgrass while Boro midfielder Grant Leadbitter is unlikely to arrive after Garry Monk confirmed he didn’t want to see anymore players leave the club.