Sky Sports sources understand Sunderland are lining up a move for Blackburn defender Scott Dann.
Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill is keen to improve his defensive options with key man Wes Brown facing an injury lay-off and has identified Dann as the man to fill the gap.
The 25-year-old centre-back has suffered back-to-back relegations with Birmingham and Blackburn but has maintained an impressive reputation and is keen to stay in the top flight.
Sunderland are willing to put together a bid of £5million for the Liverpool-born player but will face competition for his signature.
Norwich, Southampton and Newcastle are all believed to be prepared to offer the former England under-21 international another opportunity in the Premier League.
Dann has three years remaining on his contract at Ewood Park and Rovers will be looking to recoup the reported £6m fee they paid Birmingham back in August 2011.