The former Birmingham City vice-chairman Sammy Yu is understood to be linked to a consortium which hopes to buy Sunderland, according to The Sunday People (February 23, page 53).
A Hong Kong-based group is said to have renewed its interest in Sunderland after an initial approach failed.
The current Mackems owner Stewart Donald put the club up for sale earlier this year and it is claimed that he is seeking £40 million to hand over the reins.
Yu was one of the key figures behind Carson Yeung's 2009 acquisition of Birmingham City, but left St Andrew's the following year.
He later tried, unsuccessfully, to purchase the club from his fellow Hong Kong native.
Yeung was sentenced to six years' imprisonment in 2014, after being found guilty of five counts of money laundering.
Sunderland remain on course to face Birmingham, now owned by Trillion Trophy Asia, another Hong Kong sports holding company, in the Championship next season.
Phil Parkinson's side beat Bristol Rovers 3-0 on Saturday and climbed to fourth in League One.
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