Sunderland have been linked with Jay Bothroyd after Cardiff manager Dave Jones revealed that an approach for the striker from an unnamed club has been rejected.
Stadium of Light boss Steve Bruce is thought to have been monitoring forwards and he could have stepped up his hunt in the wake of Darren Bent's transfer request.
Bothroyd might be a target and he is also reportedly attracting interest from Sunderland's North East rivals, Newcastle, due to the fact that his contract expires at the end of the season.
Cardiff have offered a new deal to the 28-year-old, who made his England debut as a substitute in November's friendly defeat to France, but they could sell rather than risk losing their star man for free in the summer.
However, Jones is in no mood to accept a cut-price transfer and believes Bothroyd wants to stay at Cardiff, as he said in the Daily Express: "We've had one enquiry and Jay knows about it.
"I had a long chat with him on Sunday and I'm sure he won't mind me saying that he wants to stay at this club.
"We said no [to the approach] but, because his contract is up in June, people think they can come and take him for a measly amount of money.
"We want to keep Jay and get the best out of him. After that, whether he decides to stay is up to him."
Ahead of Tuesday's FA Cup third-round replay against Stoke, Bothroyd faces a fitness test on the hamstring injury which has been troubling him since early December.
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