Sunderland are emerging as favourites to land Middlesbrough star Adam Johnson, skysports.com understands.
The Boro winger has come through the youth system at The Riverside, and this season has flourished with Stewart Downing having moved on in the summer.
Johnson heralds from Sunderland and Steve Bruce wants to take him to the Stadium of Light.
Johnson is out of contract in the summer and Boro are under pressure to sell as the 22-year-old looks unlikely to agree a new deal.
The former England Under-21 star has rejected numerous contract offers and is understood to have shunned a renewed bid from Boro to prolong his stay.
Sunderland want to take Johnson in January, as do the likes of Chelsea and Everton - whilst Manchester United and Liverpool continue to keeps tabs on his progress.
Sunderland will look to tempt Boro into selling in the New Year, but it remains to be seen whether the Teessiders will cash in on their prized asset.