Sunderland AFC transfer news: Jack Ross eyes swoop for out-of-contract international midfielder
While the summer transfer window may be several months away, that hasn't stopped the speculation.
Sunderland boss Jack Ross may already be lining-up his targets for the summer months, although much will depend on which division the Black Cats find themselves in come the start of next season.
But the Glasgow Evening Times - and other reports from north of the border - suggest that the Wearsiders have already identified Aberdeen midfielder Graeme Shinnie as a potential target for the summer months.
The 27-year-old has excelled for the Dons this season having taken the captain's armband, and is believed to also be interesting Wigan Athletic and several Championship sides.
His current contract at Pittodrie expires at the end of the current campaign and he has been tipped to make his first move away from Scotland when the summer comes.
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But Shinnie, who has a handful of senior caps for Scotland, insists he will not be distracted by contract speculation or the links to Sunderland.
" I’m at an age where this is a massive decision for me and I’m not going to rush into it but games like this show my commitment to the team and my mind is never away from it," he said, speaking to The Press & Journal.
"I’m always focused but words are not what will show it, it is performances.
“I always know how much of a good bond I have with the fans here and it would never be an easy decision. I’ve always said that.”
Meanwhile, Sunderland AFC have confirmed that they will be hosting a screening of the club's Checkatrade Trophy semi-final against Bristol Rovers - with former players in attendance.
The Black Cats are just one win away from Wembley, with the Gas the only thing standing between the club and a date at the home of football.
Jack Ross' side have already dismissed Notts County, Newcastle United and Manchester City in the knockout stages of the competition, before they were handed a tough visit to the Memorial Stadium in the last four of the competition.
Sunderland were handed an allocation of over 1.900 for the trip to the South West but, with the fixture falling in midweek, they have moved to offer supporters the chance to watch the tie via a beam-back at the Stadium of Light.
Starting at 6pm on Tuesday, March 5, supporters will be able to watch the semi-final from the comfort of the stadium and in the company of former Black Cats. The club are yet to confirm which ex-players will be in attendance.
The game itself kicks-off at 7:45pm and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Tickets are on sale now - priced at £10 per person to include a complimentary bottle of beer and a hot meal.
Supporters are encouraged to purchase quickly with limited tickets available. Tickets and full timings for the evening can be found at safc.com.