Sunderland fans fearful as they're linked with Bolton Wanderers' Gary Madine

Sunderland fans look dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur at the Stadium of Light on September 13, 2015 in Sunderland, United Kingdom.

It's fair to say Bolton striker Gary Madine is not the signing Sunderland fans were dreaming of in January.

Wales' head coach Chris Coleman gestures during a training session at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on November 9, 2017, on the eve of the friendly football...

Chris Coleman would have known that the likes of Mauro Icardi, Edinson Cavani and Alvaro Morata would be a little out of his price range when taking over at Sunderland in November.

The former Wales boss already appears to be diving into the bargain basement as he desperately attempts to reinforce his squad ahead of what is likely to be a really testing second half of the campaign in the North East.

Gary Madine of Bolton during the Sky Bet League One match between Oxford United and Bolton Wanderers at the Kassam Stadium on March 21, 2017 in Oxford, England.

And you can understand why Sunderland supporters aren’t exactly confident about their survival prospects. The Sunderland Echo states that Gary Madine is one of their top targets during the January transfer window.

The 27-year-old, Gateshead-born frontman scored twice in the 3-1 win against Barnsley at the weekend but has just six goals in 20 games for fellow Championship strugglers Bolton Wanderers this season.

Gary Madine of Bolton and Jordan Mutch of Crystal Palace in action during the Emirates FA Cup third round match between Bolton Wanderers and Crystal Palace at the Macron Stadium on January...

Altogether Madine has tallied a hugely unimpressive 16 goals in 117 games at Championship level. So with Sunderland fans fearful that they will lose the ten-goal top scorer Lewis Grabban in January, TEAMtalk claiming parent club Bournemouth to exercise their re-call option, links with Madine will hardly ease the nagging pessimism once again taking hold at the Stadium of Light.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch