Black Cats boss Martin O’Neill wants to bring Gateshead-born Graham back to the North East in order to strengthen his front line and relieve the scoring burden on top scorer Steven Fletcher.
The 27-year-old’s future at the Liberty Stadium has been the subject of intense speculation for much of January now after finding his playing time significantly reduced following the arrival of manager Michael Laudrup in the summer and that of Spanish striker Michu.
Norwich also want to sign the former Watford and Middlesbrough man but it now seems he is destined for the Stadium of Light after O’Neill was impressed with his scoring run over Christmas.
Hamburg midfielder Paul Scharner is also close to joining Sunderland after his agent claimed the 32-year-old, who has struggled for form and fitness since leaving West Brom in the summer to move to the Bundesliga club, would spend the rest of the season on Wearside.
Deal broker Valentine Hobel said: “Paul wants to show next season what he can do for HSV but for that he needs match practice and that would probably be at Sunderland.”