Sources suggest that Martin O’Neill could be considering a Bundesliga striker of his own as he takes a look into signing Borussia Dortmund’s Lucas Barrios.
The news comes just days after fellow North East club and bitter rivals Newcastle United completed the signature of former Freiburg forward, Papiss Demba Cisse.
Rather than let the Magpies improve on what has been an already impressive season, the Black Cats are keen to bolster their attacking line and improve the chances of a top half finish themselves.
Barrios has proven to be a valuable attacking commodity at Dortmund since arriving in 2009 for a fee of £3m, but the 2011-12 season has been a forgettable one so far.
The Paraguayan forward has been limited to just nine Bundesliga appearances this campaign, eight of which have come from the bench, due to a series of injuries.
In his previous two seasons at the Westfalenstadion, Barrios has scored 44 goals in 77 appearances for the current Bundesliga champions and his exploits on the pitch were a decisive factor in last season’s title victory.
Martin O’Neill has had a magnificent start to his career at the helm of Sunderland, pulling the side from the risk of relegation troubles to a respectable mid-table position.
The club have been in inspired form since the Northern Irishman was installed as manager and is looking to improve his current squad as the club pushes for a top half finish.
Sunderland are currently lacking in the striking department and although the club have Nicklas Bendtner and Ji Dong-Won at their disposal, they are looking at bringing reinforcements in.
Ellis Short will understandably be encouraged by the early improvements that O’Neill has made at his new side and may grant the £15m necessary to finance a move for Barrios.