A host of Championship sides are interested in Newcastle United striker Daryl Murphy.
Sunderland would be keen to bring the 34-year-old back to Wearside but his excellent scoring record in recent seasons means he is in high demand.
Aston Villa, Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest are all thought to be keen on a potential move.
Newcastle United paid over £3 million for the striker, who scored 6 goals last season, but are set to sell him ahead of their Premier League campaign.
Murphy himself said last month: "Rafa is a top, top manager. He texted me after the Uruguay game to say well done.
“I spoke to him last week about my future and he thanked me for what I had done and said they were going to listen to a few offers. I said ‘that’s fine’.
“I always knew I had been brought in there to do a specific job, to help the club get promoted. I had no illusions that I was going to be starting for Newcastle in the Premier League if we got up."
With Sunderland currently without a senior striker in the squad, they are well aware of Murphy's situation and would be interested in bringing him back to Wearside. A move to stay in the North East would appeal to the Irish striker, but a sticking point could be how much of the fee spent last summer Newcastle are looking to recoup.
Sunderland would favour a short-term deal with funds limited and a number of forwards required to bolster the squad. The Black Cats are also aware, however, that the bulk of their budget will have to be used in attacking areas, with Simon Grayson interested in Max Gradel and close to sealing a deal for Aiden McGeady. Youngsters Josh Maja and Lynden Gooch have led the line so far in pre-season.
Jeremain Lens and Wahbi Khazri have featured and scored, but are still expected to leave this summer.
According to reports from Ireland this morning, The Black Cats also face competition from Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.
Villa boss Steve Bruce managed Murphy during their time together at the Stadium of Light.