Sunderland are interested in a deal for Reading striker Marc McNulty, according to reports.
The Black Cats have made a striker their top priority for the rest of the transfer window with Jack Ross keen to bolster his attacking arsenal.
Will Grigg is Sunderland's top target and the club have already seen two bids knocked-back for the Northern Irish international.
But any move for the striker has now been thrown into doubt after he picked up a knock in the Latics' defeat at Sheffield Wednesday yesterday.
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The extent of the 27-year-old's injury is yet to be discovered, but it could rule-out a January exit.
And reports now suggest that the Black Cats could move for McNulty - with his future at the Madjeski Stadium looking bleak.
The Scot netted 28 times for Coventry City last season as the Sky Blues won promotion to League One, earning him a £1.2million move to Reading in the summer.
But the striker has struggled to recreate such form at the Royals, having netted just once for new employers.
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Reports suggest that the 26-year-old is part of a group of players who have been ordered to train away from Reading's first team squad - and could be allowed to leave during the winter window.
And the Mirror claim that Jack Ross is eyeing up McNulty as he continues to search for attacking recruits.
Ross is keen to secure a poacher - a category the former Bradford City man falls in to - but his goal-scoring record in League One would have to be questioned.
“We do need to score more consistently,” admitted the Sunderland boss.
“Hence why I’ve identified bringing in and out-and-out striker.
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“Even through the season so far, our scoring record has been remarkable because we’ve not had those out-and-out strikers really.
“If you look at the likes of Aiden, Lynden, Chris, their contributions, there will be spikes and dips.
“During those dips you really need poachers, for want of a better word."