Stoke boss Tony Pulis has confirmed that Sunderland have lodged a bid for striker Ricardo Fuller.
The Black Cats have been linked with the Jamaican frontman for some time, with skysports.com revealing last week that Steve Bruce was set to make an approach.
Stoke were quick to shrug off the reports at first, insisting Fuller was staying put, but they have now seen that resolve tested by a formal offer.
The much-travelled 31-year-old has been with the Potters since 2006, providing a regular source of goals during that time.
He has established himself as a proven Premier League performer and has three strikes to his name this term.
Sunderland are in the market for such a player after selling the prolific Darren Bent to top flight rivals Aston Villa for £18million.
Steve Bruce announced on Thursday that he was in no rush to land a replacement for the England international, but has now made his move for Fuller.
He is, however, not the only manager in the picture, with Pulis saying: "Sunderland have made an offer and both clubs are talking. But it is not just Sunderland - other clubs are interested.
"Ric has been here five-and-a-half years but if someone comes in and makes a 'worldy' offer which benefits him for the rest of his life and we can't match it then we as a football club have a responsibility and a respect for the lad.
"If we think it is beneficial for us as well as Ricardo then we'll get the deal done."
It remains to be seen what will happen next in this saga next, though, as the Black Cats, shortly after hearing Pulis' claims, have denied making an offer.
They admit to having enquired as to Fuller's availability earlier in the window, but refute the suggestion that they have followed up that interest.