Sunderland are close to a double transfer that would see them spend almost the entirety of the £20m they recouped from the sale of Jordan Henderson to Liverpool.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is close to taking 24-year-old midfielder Craig Gardner from Birmingham City in a £6m deal.
Gardner was City’s top scorer last season with 10 goals in all competitions, and was part of the side that won the Carling Cup in February. His arrival will help to fill the void in the Mackems midfield left by Henderson’s departure and that of Bolo Zenden, who left the club at the expiration of his contract, and Sulley Muntari who returned to Internazionale at the end of his loan deal.
The Black Cats have also agreed a deal with Ipswich Town for teenage striker Connor Wickham, believed to be in the region of £9m plus add-ons.
The deal for the England Under-21 international, who made his Ipswich debut aged 16, could eventually be worth £12.5m to the Tractor Boys, subject to the striker agreeing personal terms and passing a medical with the Wearsiders.
Wickham had been heavily linked with Liverpool, but their interest would appear to have cooled, largely due to the fee being offered by Sunderland.