Sunderland are interested in signing sought-after centre-back Virgil van Dijk, but would reportedly be unwilling to meet Celtic's £8m asking price.
The Bhoys remain insistent that they can keep hold of the Dutchman this month in spite of apparent interest from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Black Cats had hoped to pip the Premier League big boys to the 23-year-old's signature and sent scouts to watch him in Celtic's 2-0 Scottish Premiership victory over Kilmarnock on Monday.
However, Sky Sports News claims that Sunderland would not be prepared to pay the £8m that Celtic are apparently demanding, for Van Dijk or any other defender during the winter transfer window.
Manager Gus Poyet's priority in January is believed to be a striker and therefore spending on improving other areas of his squad could be restricted until a forward is brought to the Stadium of Light.