According to The Northern Echo, Sunderland aren't willing to pay anywhere near the wages Dimi Konstantopoulos and Stewart Downing were on at Middlesbrough.
With Robbin Ruiter leaving this summer, another goalkeeper to cover for Jon McLaughlin would be useful, and another creative force would be welcomed with Lewis Morgan returning to Celtic.
Konstantopoulos and Downing have been identified for those two roles having been released by Middlesbrough, but it's thought that they'd need to take major pay cuts from their Boro wages to make a move happen.
Of course, as free agents they won't have anything coming in soon, but Sunderland are reluctant to go anywhere close to their Middlesbrough wages, which may hinder their pursuit.
It's even noted that Downing is closing in on a move to Blackburn Rovers, meaning Sunderland would have to look elsewhere for a new signing unless there's a shock U-turn in the works.
Matching Championship wages may be difficult for Sunderland, and whilst Downing is keen on remaining in the North East, it looks like the Black Cats are losing the battle for the 34-year-old.
Meanwhile, Konstantopoulos is 40 now, and may be more willing to drop his wages. A regular in the North East with Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, the former Greek international makes perfect sense for Sunderland, and they'll be hoping for better luck with him than they've had with Downing.
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