According to The Sun, Simon Grayson is plotting a move for Brentford midfielder Ryan Woods.
The 23-year-old has spent the last two seasons at Griffin Park after signing from Shrewsbury for £1m in the summer of 2015.
A defensive central midfielder, Woods comes with something of an 'all-rounder' tag and can also operate out wide or at full back.
Born in Staffordshire, the hardworking playmaker rose through the youth system at Walsall before being released at the age of 15.
From there, Woods signed professional terms with The Shrews and made his senior debut in April 2013. Whilst at New Meadow, he picked up two Player of the Season awards before being lured to Brentford.
Two impressive campaigns at Griffin Park have followed with 83 appearances, a couple of goals and a Players' Player of the Season gong for last term.
Woods would bring energy and versatility to a Sunderland squad crying out for both in the Championship campaign to come. He possesses the ability to drive forward and covers plenty of ground defensively.
He would also arrive with an unfortunate 'Ginger Pirlo' moniker having been christened as such by Bees fans. No doubt Woods would be an upgrade on the other one operating in North East football right now.
The report in The Sun claimed Sunderland are preparing a bid of £2m for the midfielder. That suggestion has been roundly scoffed at by Brentford observers who can see no value in letting a key player escape to a Championship rival for a modest fee, especially when Woods has three years left on his contract at Griffin Park.
We nabbed a couple of experts on the Bees to pass comment on whether Woods is any good and what Sunderland's realistic prospect of nabbing him are this summer.
Ryan Woods is a very impressive prospect and this isn't the first time that larger clubs have made noises about the all action midfielder since he joined Brentford from Shrewsbury.
Woods has signed a long term deal at Griffin, not that means too much if the right bid comes in. However, that fee is likely to be far higher than Sunderland are prepared to pay, we hope so at least as there's still a big role for Woodsie to play in helping The Bees to the promised land.
- Dave Lane of Beesotted, editor, author & writer of all things Brentford. @beesotted100
He's a defensive midfielder and tenacious to boot yet with a great passing range. Was player's player of the year last season and would be my first choice on the team sheet for centre midfield. Chances of signing him are, I would suggest, slim-to-zero if we're talking about the apparent £2m on offer. It's going to take somebody driving a dumper truck full of cash up to Griffin Park to make us look even vaguely interested - he's under contract until 2020.
- Nick Bruzon of the Last Word , blogger and former contributor for Brentford's matchday programme. @nickbruzon
A little work needed on this one then Simon, and whilst Sunderland retain plenty of central midfield options in the squad as is, frankly it was that area on the park - more than any other - which was a major factor in last season's relegation.
But Lee Cattermole, Didier Ndong and Darron Gibson should provide sufficient nous and bite for a decent middle section in the Championship. Woods would be a great addition to that trio - if the money to launch a sensible bid is available.