Sunderland are favourites to land Wigan defender Maynor Figueroa during the January transfer window.
Manager Steve Bruce has made no secret of his admiration for the Honduras international he signed for Wigan.
But amid reported interest from Tottenham, Sportsmail understands the Black Cats are in pole position to land the full-back, who scored a spectacular goal from his own half for the Latics at Stoke last weekend.
Bruce spent heavily during the summer but also moved on 14 players and his squad has been hit in recent weeks by injuries and suspensions.
However, while owner Ellis Short and chairman Niall Quinn will back him once again, Bruce insists he will not spend simply for spending's sake.
Asked if his focus had been altered by recent events, Bruce said: 'No, I haven't changed. My philosophy always is, if there is something that can improve us.
'But I won't just go and do something just because we have had a couple of bad results. I have got to look longer term than that.
'If the players are available in January, then we are in a position to act. But in my experience it is very, very difficult in January to try to prise anyone away from a club for obvious reasons.'
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