Sunderland are believed to have contacted Michael Owen’s representatives in a bid to sign the veteran forward, The Guardian state.
The ageing striker is a free agent after being released by Manchester United at the tail-end of last season, and did not sign for a new club over the summer.
The Black Cats are eager to build on the transfer window signings of Louis Saha, Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson, and will make an attempt to bring Owen to the Stadium of Light.
Despite Martin O’Neill’s interest in the forward, Stoke still remain favourites to land the attacker and have been working on a deal to sign Owen over the last week.
Owen has also been linked with the likes of Everton, Liverpool and West Ham over the last month, but for the time being the forward’s options appear limited to Stoke and Sunderland.
Meanwhile, The Daily Mail state that Brendan Rodgers will make a move for Owen to bolster his attacking options.
The Merseysiders only have Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini in their squad as attackers and the Northern Irish manager could attempt to bring Owen back to Anfield.
By Gareth McKnight