Sunderland are in talks with Celtic regarding a possible loan move for Lewis Morgan.
The 22-year-old starred for manager Jack Ross at St Mirren last season, scoring 18 goals as the Paisley side stormed to the second division title.
With his contract running down, Celtic bought him and loaned him back to St Mirren for the final months of the campaign.
He has made 13 appearances for Brendan Rodgers this season but Celtic have moved to considerably strengthen their options in the January window.
Timothy Weah and Oliver Burke have arrived from PSG and West Brom on loan respectively, potentially clearing the way for Morgan to leave on a short-term deal.
Aberdeen are also known to be keen on the young Scot.
Earlier in the window, Ross said there had been dialogue regarding Morgan but it is clear the pair have a close relationship.
"There has been no communication with Brendan and there's been no communications between the clubs.
"Naturally with Lewis, that link is easier to make because I've worked with him in the past at St Mirren.
"He's a young man with whom I forged a really close relationship and he's someone I am desperate to keep progressing his career.
"There may come a time in the future where I would love to work with a player of his ilk again.
"But for the moment, we have certainly not had any sort of communication with those two."
Sunderland remain keen on two strikers, as well as a potential move for Morgan.
Their pursuit of Will Grigg is ongoing.
Chairman Stewart Donald is determined to invest in the squad this month and has assured supporters there are funds to do so.
His efforts would of course be boosted by any outgoing business and it is understood there is significant interest in Bryan Oviedo.
With Reece James continuing to impress and Denver Hume back in full training, Oviedo, one of the club's highest earners, is effectively third choice left-back.