Sunderland have had an approach for Aston Villa's Stewart Downing turned down, skysports.com understands and Steve Bruce is ready to turn his attention once again to Wigan's Charles N'Zogbia.
Former Middlesbrough winger Downing was strongly linked with a move to Wearside earlier this month.
Now Sunderland, who once had the England winger on loan from Boro, have tried to bring Downing back to the North East.
However, Villa have shunned their advances, insisting he is not for sale and Sunderland are ready to turn their attentions to Wigan and N'Zogbia.
The Latics accepted an £8million bid from Birmingham last summer, only for the former Newcastle man to turn down their offer.
Now Sunderland could offer him the chance to return to the North East where he spent five years with the Magpies before his move to Wigan in 2009.