Sunderland could be set to turn to Domagoj Vida to solve their defensive problems.
The Dynamo Kiev centre-half has been tracked by the Black Cats before as previously reported by the Echo.
Tempting Vida away from the Ukraine should not be too difficult
And Sunderland had a representative at the Ukraine club’s 1-0 defeat at Benfica in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The centre of defence will be a key area for boss David Moyes in the next transfer window.
There continues to be speculation that the Black Cats may try to cash in on interest in Lamine Kone which would generate funds and the need for a replacement.
And Moyes looks set to lose Kone anyhow – and possibly fellow centre-half Papy Djilobodji – in January to the African Cup of Nations.
Tempting Vida away from the Ukraine should not be too difficult.
Dynamo Kiev are heading out of Europe, stuck at the bottom of Group B with only one point from four matches.
They are already eliminated from the Champions League with only a very slim chance of reaching the Europa League.
Vida has less than two years left of his contract at Kiev and Dynamo may decide to bring in some decent money for him rather than risk his contract petering out and risk losing him on a free.
During the summer, his club rated him in the £10million bracket with the Black Cats reputed to be offering £6million.
In the end, Sunderland recruited two central defenders in the window, spending £8million on Pay Djilobodji from Chelsea, while bringing in Jason Denayer on a season-long loan from Manchester City.
Vida is not in the same physical league as either Djilobodji or Kone, standing just over 6ft.
But the 27-year-old is highly rated as a defender.
He has been a regular for Dynamo in both the Ukraine Premier Division as well as in the Champions League.
Vida scored for the reigning title holders in their 4-1 victory over Karpaty at the weekend, a result which kept them third in the table, eight points adrift of leaders Shakhtar Donetsk.
He is also a first-choice for a talented Croatia side, starting in all but one of their matches at Euro 2016 and was man of the match in their heartbreaking late round of 16 defeat to Portugal.
Vida has subsequently started the three World Cup qualifiers, a 1-1 draw with Turkey, before away victories to Kosovo (6-0) and Finland (1-0).
He was part of the Croatian squad at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and given his experience, playing in the Premier League would be right up his street.