Bolton striker Kevin Davies is just one of several targets for Martin O'Neill ahead of transfer deadline day as the Sunderland manager attempts to sign cover for injuries.
The Stadium of Light boss, who revealed the club have had a bid for Davies rejected, has not given up on that proposed deal.
O'Neill is also considering dipping into the loan market after sending Wes Brown and David Vaughan for scans on injuries picked up during Sunday's 1-1 FA Cup draw with Middlesbrough.
Skipper Lee Cattermole, who missed the clash with his former club due to a hamstring problem, joined the pair as O'Neill prepared for a busy final day or so of the January window.
He said: "I am a bit concerned, because we have a few problems to overcome.
"We have a couple of injury problems, just when you thought there was light at the end of the tunnel, that we were getting a few people back.
"Then suddenly, you play a game, you lose a couple of players and you are less than 36, 37 hours away from transfer deadline.
"As I have often said here, which has always been my concern, on 1st February, that's it, so we might have to look at some sort of loans."
The recruitment of a striker was already a possibility with Nicklas Bendtner sidelined with a fractured nose, and Davies has been in the Black Cats' sights for several days despite Bolton boss Owen Coyle's hopes of hanging on to the 34-year-old.
Injuries to Brown and Vaughan have increased the scope of Sunderland's need, as O'Neill admitted: "We are looking at a number of aspects - it would be ridiculous if we weren't looking at them.
"It does present us with a problem with the games and we still need some points on the board."
O'Neill's fresh selection problems have ended any prospect of homesick midfielder Craig Gardner being allowed to return to the Midlands, with former club Birmingham among his suitors.
The manager said: "No, no, no. We have got enough problems here trying to get a few players in at this minute to help alleviate the situation.
"No, Craig won't be going anywhere now, and in fairness to the lad, he hasn't been making any big showing.
"He knows there has been interest - we have kept him up to date with interest from down in the Midlands and maybe at some stage, we will think about that.
"But now, we really need him and he is doing fine for us."