Sunderland boss Simon Grayson has told The Chronicle that he has yet to make contact with Middlesbrough over a possible deal for midfielder Grant Leadbitter.
The Black Cats claimed their first competitive win under new manager Grayson, claiming a 1-0 Carabao Cup victory win over League One side Bury thanks to George Honeyman's winner.
The attention does immediately turn to this weekend's Championship fixture against Norwich City, but fans will also be keen to see Sunderland bring in more new faces before the end of the transfer window later this month.
Grayson has so far brought in Robbin Ruiter, Jason Steele, Tyias Browning, Brendan Galloway, Aiden McGeady, James Vaughan and Lewis Grabban to boost his squad, but he may still look for improvements in the middle of the park.
Sunderland started the season with Lee Cattermole and Didier Ndong in holding midfield, but with questions over Darron Gibson's long-term future at the club, another veteran could be targeted.
Earlier this week, The Sun reported that Sunderland are hoping to bring Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter back to the Stadium of Light, eight years since leaving for Ipswich Town.
Leadbitter, 31, came up through the ranks with Sunderland and grew up supporting the club, making 123 appearances for the Black Cats before his move to Ipswich and then Middlesbrough, where he is currently club captain.
However, Leadbitter's playing time could be cut under Garry Monk, and Sunderland could offer him an escape route by handing him a return to the Stadium of Light this month.
Grayson is playing his cards close to his chest though, telling The Chronicle after Thursday's win over Bury that he hasn't made contact with Middlesbrough over a possible deal for Leadbitter, and he is just one of a number of players being linked with the club.
“He [Grant] is part of a group of players being linked with us all the time," said Grayson. @At this time I have not spoken to Garry [Monk, the Middlesbrough manager]. Grant is a Sunderland boy who has been at the club before but he is just one of a number of names we are being linked with all of the time," he added.
Would you like to see Leadbitter re-join Sunderland?