Simon Grayson is likely to return to the transfer market for further attacking reinforcements, despite the arrival of Lewis Grabban on a year-long loan.
The Sunderland boss is interested in Ross McCormack, who he managed to great success at Leeds United. Aston Villa are open to offloading the striker this summer after a woeful first season in the Midlands, but his wages are likely to be a major hurdle to overcome.
The £12 million deal to bring him to Villa Park from Fulham last summer was one of the biggest in the division but the need for Steve Bruce to balance the books after more summer spending will offer hope on Wearside.
Grayson would not be drawn on the McCormack speculation but said talks are continuing with several targets.
He said: “We’re going to be linked with a lot of players, we’ve been speaking to several players and several agents, seeing if we can get the right deal for many targets that we’ve got, for some who nobody has even mentioned yet.
“We know it’s an area we need to strengthen, we’ve done it already. Will we have more acquisitions in the top end of the pitch? Probably.”
Grabban’s arrival from Bournemouth bolsters the ranks but Grayson admitted the 0-0 draw with Scunthorpe United underlined the need for more options up front.
Jeremain Lens and Josh Maja were ruled out of the game with injuries and after Wahbi Khazri started the game on the bench, the Black Cats looked blunt in attack.
Grayson said: “I think we were OK defensively, we were OK in midfield, where it really matters at the top end of the pitch we were a little light physically. The movement, no disrespect to George and Donald, when you use them in the final third which is not their normal positions, George is more of a central midfielder and Donald a right-back, it just shows you’re down on numbers.
”We took James Vaughan off because he’s played a lot of football, we’ve got a game at the weekend and we don’t want to exert him too much.”