Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill is set to enter the race to take Bobby Zamora from Fulham with an £8m January bid.
Zamora has an uneasy relationship with Cottagers boss Martin Jol and has been used sparingly by his manager since the Dutchman arrived at the club last summer.
The 30-year-old striker has established himself in Fabio Capello’s England set-up and Sunderland, Aston Villa and QPR are hoping to take advantage of Zamora’s resolve not to jeopardise his chances of going to Euro 2012 next summer.
With Nicklas Bendtner so far failing to inspire on his loan spell from Arsenal, the Black Cats want a new target man and O’Neill thinks Zamora is a perfect candidate, according to The Mirror.
Sunderland have back-up options in Rangers forward Nikica Jelavic and Freiburg’s Papiss Cisse, but Zamora is proven in the top flight.
Zamora and Jol’s relationship is described by Fulham insiders as ‘cordial’.
Jol has also told Zamora no player can expect to be granted an automatic place in the starting XI at Fulham.