Black Cats boss David Moyes sought a summer reunion with the Scotland international, who he signed for Everton in 2012, but a loan deal collapsed on Deadline Day.
Earlier this week, Mirror Football reported that Sunderland would look to launch a fresh approach for Naismith in January, with Moyes still keen on the 30-year-old.
But according to The Chronicle, a January switch to the Stadium of Light is incredibly unlikely.
First of all, Sunderland have already maxed out their quota of domestic loans on Adnan Januzaj and Jason Denayer – in fact, The Chronicle claim Moyes cancelled a loan deal for Naismith to sign the Manchester City youngster instead.
That means only a permanent transfer would be viable. But if the Sunderland boss has funds available in January to sign another striker, he’ll reportedly target a younger and more prolific alternative.
More of a nomadic forward than an out-and-out goalscorer, Naismith has netted just 96 times in 392 appearances at club level throughout his career.