Sunderland are tracking Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofeu, according to a report in the Shields Gazette.
Sunderland are just one point above the drop zone at present but, following the appointment of Dick Advocaat as successor to the ousted Gus Poyet, are optimistic regarding their chances of securing survival.
The Wearsiders are now already making transfer plans to ensure that they do not get into such a mess next season, and Deulofeu has emerged as a potential target to improve their squad.
Would Deulofeu be a good addition for Sunderland?
The Barcelona youngster has already impressed in England before, during a loan spell at Everton, and appears to have the quality required to push Sunderland on to the next level.
The Black Cats have lacked creativity this season and Deulofeu would certainly bring that quality to the side.
A natural dribbler, the Spaniard loves to run at defenders and is an obvious outlet for his team.
The rumours that Sunderland are looking at Deulofeu may throw the future of Ricky Alvarez into doubt, though.
The Argentine was expected to complete a permanent move to the Stadium of Light this summer, according to a report in the Daily Mirror, but Sunderland's need for him would surely be reduced if Deulofeu were to arrive.
The pair are similar in their playing style and it is unlikely that Sunderland would recruit both for next season.