Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has admitted his interest in Portsmouth defender Sylvain Distin.
The Black Cats have been strongly linked with a move for the former Newcastle and Manchester City man as they look to bolster their defensive options ahead of the new season.
Aston Villa and Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in Distin, who has just one year to run on his current deal at Fratton Park.
Bruce has hinted he is ready to make a move for Distin by revealing his admiration for the Frenchman.
"I think it would be wrong of me to comment on other people's players," Bruce told the Sunday Sun.
"He's a player we like and admire but that's as far as it has gone.
"We haven't got much in the way of transfer deals in the pipeline at the moment but we are still working extremely hard to improve the squad."