Sky Sports News understands Sunderland have made an enquiry to Portsmouth about David James.
The England international was back in Portsmouth's team against Manchester City on Sunday, with Asmir Begovic left out of Pompey's squad altogether as he was seemingly on his way to Stoke City.
Portsmouth have subsequently rejected Stoke's £3million bid for Begovic amid reports they are to report their Premier League counterparts to the football authorities for their conduct throughout the negotiations; a turn of events which has seemingly put James back in the market place.
Should James make a further 10 appearances this season he will be entitled to a new contract and this is something the financially-stricken South Coast outfit are loath to consider.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is desperate to tighten up his leaky backline and has earmarked James as a potential signing.