Sunderland face a tough battle to sign Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson on loan - with West Ham United co-chairman David Gold confirming his club is working hard to secure him.
The Arsenal full-back spent last season on loan with the Hammers and manager Slaven Bilic is hopeful of retaining his services for the new campaign.
Sunderland are also looking to sign the highly-rated defender but face stiff competition from their Premier League rivals.
Gold told talkSPORT: “We are very working hard to try and get Carl back here.”
Jenkinson, 23, who made 36 appearances last season, has been linked with a series of potential suitors this season including the Black Cats and Southampton.
The Londoners have already been busy in the summer transfer market, landing Marseille winger Dimitri Payet, Sampdoria midfielder Pedro Obiang and Birmingham keeper Darren Randolph as they attempt to manage the dual demands of domestic and European campaigns.
Gold said: “We recognise this is an important season for us and being in Europe we will go the extra mile to ensure we have got the strongest possible squad we can muster.”
Sunderland have so far added Urugayan defender Sebastian Coates to their ranks, with the former Liverpool centre-back signing a four-year deal.