Sky Sports understands that Sunderland have opened talks with Tottenham Hotspur over a deal for England midfielder Jermaine Jenas.
The 29-year-old is back to full fitness after missing almost all of last season with a ruptured Achilles he sustained after just a couple of matches into a loan spell at Aston Villa.
Now on the fringes of Andre Villas-Boas's first-team squad he could be on his way back to the North East.
Jenas spent three years with Sunderland's bitter rivals Newcastle before leaving for Tottenham in 2005 after describing life on Tyneside as like being 'in a goldfish bowl'.
But Sunderland are now hoping that he can be persuaded back to the region with the offer of a permanent deal.