Joleon Lescott is training with Sunderland as David Moyes looks to add depth to his depleted squad.
Lescott is a free agent after leaving Greek side AEK Athens in November, a bad knee injury sidelining him for a prolonged period just four games into his time there.
He revealed on national radio last week that he had fully recovered from the injury was ready to look for a new club.
The news comes as David Moyes warned fans that any signings made this month would not make a ‘big difference’ to the squad.
He reiterated that funds are ‘limited with a big L’ and played down a multi-million pound move for Algerian attacker Ryad Boudebouz.
He said: “We’re trying, we’re looking around to see what we can get.
“There are some that we are trying but not quite getting there, and there are others where we’re hopeful.
“I’m hoping that we’ll get a couple of players in, but we also have to be careful.
“Obviously, I hope the players we get in can make a big difference, but more than likely the ones we are trying to get will be added to the squad to help us with numbers.
“I think that’s fundamental. Players want you to be towards the right end of the table before they choose.
“To be fair, looking at the transfers we’ve made, you could argue that Steven Pienaar and Victor Anichebe have done as well as anybody.
“So we have to try and find another couple like that if we can.
Sunderland have been linked this week with a swoop for Phil Jagielka; Everton boss Ronald Koeman suggesting on Thursday that the veteran centre-half could be allowed to leave Goodison Park this month.
While the former Sheffield United man’s experience and leadership would be welcomed on Wearside, there is doubt whether he would be keen to join a relegation scrap, with other Premier League suitors likely.
Instead, a move for another 34-year-old who Moyes worked with at Everton could transpire, Lescott saying he was ’realistic’ about his situation last week.
He said: “My plan is just to find a new club,
“I’m realistic about where I am in my career now and I know I’m probably not going to be anyone’s first choice at the moment.
“So I’m just hoping that once teams go for their top targets and may or may not get them, there is an opportunity somewhere.
“I’m ready now.
“I’ve been training, full training, for the last three weeks so I’m available and ready to go.”
Sunderland are also likely to be beaten to the signing of Norwich City’s Irish international Robbie Brady, with reports of a £13million bid from Burnley.
Rumours of a move for Montpellier forward Boudebouz are wide of the mark, Moyes saying: “That’s not happening [Boudebouz], I don’t know where that’s coming from.
“I actually heard three of four players and I was surprised, I thought where have they come from.
“We’re looking at a couple of boys at the Africa Cup of Nations, we’re watching through the television games, but that [Boudebouz] wasn’t one of the names.”