Phil Parkinson’s Sunderland could raid League One rivals Shrewsbury Town and Burton Albion for Oliver Norburn and Liam Boyce.

Sunderland are stepping up their attempts to bring new signings to the Stadium of Light by making bids for Burton Albion striker Liam Boyce and Shrewsbury Town midfielder Oliver Norburn, according to reports.

After a dismal run of form which had supporters starting to fear that they would never escape their League One tomb, things are looking up again at Wearside.

The previously maligned Phil Parkinson now has Sunderland playing better football that at any time in the Jack Ross era with the Black Cats back in the play-offs.

And the additions of Kyle Lafferty and Bailey Wright, who previously secured promotion via the third-tier with Preston, should add depth and experience to the squad.

Sunderland are hoping that Lafferty and Wright won’t be their only new arrivals this month, however, with two new bids being launched.

The Sun (23 January, page 51) reports that the Black Cats have offered £650,000 for Shrewsbury captain Norburn, an inspirational central midfielder who produced 11 goals and five assists in all competitions last season.

If Norburn is capable of adding end product and cutting edge to Sunderland’s squad, so to would Boyce.

The Edinburgh News reports that the intelligent Northern Ireland international has also been the subject of an offer from the Wearside giants, with Burton boss Nigel Clough confirming that the Brewers had rejected two offers from clubs he refused to name.

If Sunderland can get Norburn and Boyce over the line, they will have two more proven League One stars who could make promotion a viable possibility.

In other news, Tottenham Hotspur fans react to Gedson Fernandes rumours