Sunderland have reportedly had an approach for Aston Villa's Stewart Downing turned down, and will try again for Wigan's Charles N'Zogbia.
Former Middlesbrough winger Downing was strongly linked with a move to Wearside earlier this month.
Now Skysports.com claims that Sunderland, who once had the England winger on loan from Boro, recently made an official approach in a bid to bring Downing back to the Stadium of Light.
However, Villa are said to have shunned their advances, insisting he is not for sale and Sunderland are ready to turn their attentions to Wigan and N'Zogbia.
The Latics accepted an £8million bid from Birmingham last summer, only for the former Newcastle man to turn down their offer.
Now Sunderland could offer him the chance to return to the North East where he spent five years with the Magpies before his move to Wigan in 2009.