Stoke City boss Tony Pulis has hinted Danny Higginbotham could be on his way to Sunderland.
However, speculation regarding Higginbotham's future increased after he withdrew from Stoke's squad to face Southampton due to injury.
The defender has told Stoke he was unavailable to play against Saints, although Pulis believes a move to Roy Keane's squad could be on the cards.
"I think that looks as though it's going to happen, or could happen," Pulis said.
"Danny says he's got an injury and we've got to believe that Danny's got an injury.
"He says he's injured so what can we do."