Sunderland have had a £12 million bid accepted for Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch.
Manager Steve Bruce is now hoping to meet the England centre forward and persuade him to move to the North East.
Crouch would prefer a move to Fulham if he is to be sold, but the London club may not be able to match the bid or pay his wages.
Sunderland owner Ellis Short is prepared to meet Crouch's £70,000-a-week demands, making the 28-year-old the highest paid player in Sunderland's history - and that could prove decisive.
Bruce is also competing with Arsenal for Marouane Chamakh of Bordeaux.