The Black Cats boss has targeted the England Under 21 stopper, currently on loan at Cheltenham, after Simon Mignolet fractured an eye socket against Aston Villa last month.
Summer signing Keiren Westwood is currently No 1 as Craig Gordon is out with a knee injury.
Top target: Boss Steve Bruce has made signing a new keeper his No 1 priority
Bruce had to recall Trevor Carson, 23, from a loan spell at Bury to the bench for the recent clash at Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League.
But Bruce is now hoping to strike a deal with Birmingham, who he left as manager in 2007 after six seasons, for Butland.
The keeper is just 18 and was loaned out from St Andrews to Cheltenham in September. He has kept four clean sheets for the League Two side in eight games.
Sunderland are also in the race to sign Swiss striker Ahmed Mehmedi according to the Daily Mirror.
Bruce had the FC Zurich star, 20, watched as he made his first start for the full Swiss side against Holland. The club needs a striker and Mehmedi could be the subject of a bid from Sunderland in a possible January transfer move.
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