Sunderland are believed to have expressed an interest in signing former Newcastle striker Michael Owen.
Reports suggest the Black Cats have made initial contact with the 32-year-old free agent as manager Martin O'Neill attempts to boost his forward options.
Although there have been talks, it is understood they have yet to progress and long-time pursuers Stoke remain Owen's most likely destination.
With the summer transfer window having closed on Friday, the situation is now clearer for the former England international.
Owen was released by Manchester United at the end of last season and as a free agent he can still join a club after the transfer window has shut.
He spent four years in the north-east after Newcastle made him their record signing when they pulled off what looked like a sensational coup by bringing him back to England from Real Madrid in August 2005.
But injuries, particularly knee ligament damage suffered with England at the 2006 World Cup, severely limited his contribution and the striker has struggled to get a run of games ever since.
O'Neill has focused on bolstering his strike force for much of the summer and succeeded in bringing in Steven Fletcher and Louis Saha.
But with Fraizer Campbell, Ji Dong-won, Connor Wickham and Ryan Noble representing the back-up, O'Neill is tempted to add some experience to his forward line.