Aston Villa's Senegal international right-back Habib Beye is a target for Sunderland boss Steve Bruce.
Bruce is keen to add to his Black Cats squad this month, but recently saw a move for Hamburg's Ivory Coast international Guy Demel come to nothing.
Now he has set his sights on 32-year-old former Newcastle United defender Beye, who has made just nine appearances since heading to Villa Park last summer.
Bruce confirmed: "It's defensively that we are looking to do things this month. We are still looking to sign players at the back, it's the area we are short.
"We are down to the bare bones in that respect, so that's where we are trying to reinforce and strengthen.
"Habib Beye is one I like and admire, but that's as a far as it has gone at the moment.
"We are interested in him and we have had a look at him, but I'm not sure whether we are going to be able to do anything."