Sunderland must consider whether to up their offer for Andre Ayew after seeing a concrete bid turned down for the Swansea winger.
Ayew emerged as a surprise transfer target for Sunderland late last week after the Ghanaian international had found the net for the Swans during the Black Cats' 4-2 victory at the Liberty Stadium.
The Echo understands that Sunderland have made a firm bid for Ayew's services - reportedly around the £10million mark - but that has been rejected by the Welsh club.
Swansea are adamant that Ayew will not be sold in the January transfer window, particularly to a relegation rival, with the winger netting seven goals in 20 Premier League appearances since his summer arrival from Marseille.
The Swans have already offloaded England international Jonjo Shelvey to Newcastle and are wary of allowing another of their big names to join a fellow struggler.
However, Sunderland remain interested in the 26-year-old, who shares the same agent as Black Cats defensive target Lamine Kone.
Sunderland are not alone in tracking Ayew, with Liverpool and Leicester also linked, yet Sam Allardyce's side have shown their hand by making an ambitious move.
Allardyce's pursuit of Kone also continues, with a loan move now looking the most likely option for the Lorient centre-half after the original £5m deal broke down earlier this month.
Kone made his return for Lorient in yesterday's 2-0 defeat against Monaco and showed no signs of rust from a month-long break, where his future has been on the agenda.
But Lorient are hoping to bring in Lyon centre-half Lindsay Rose this week, which could open the door for Kone's move to the Stadium of Light to be completed.