Stoke are holding talks with Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones about a potential club-record transfer to the Britannia Stadium.
The 25-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international, who was linked with a January loan move to Liverpool, has travelled down to the Potteries for discussions with manager Tony Pulis and chief executive Tony Scholes.
Pulis has been looking at trying to improve his forward line and reached a verbal agreement with French club Nice over a fee for Loic Remy but with other clubs interested that deal appears to have stalled.
Three of Stoke's current forwards Dave Kitson, James Beattie and Tuncay Sanli have all been linked with moves away in the last few weeks.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce admitted the potential move came about due to his irritation at Jones' inconsistency on Wearside.
He told www.sunderlandecho.com: "I wish him well. The deal is not over the line, but if it does (go ahead) then I think it would be in the interests of all parties.
"There has always been a frustration with me, and I think with supporters who have watched Kenwyne, that you see an abundance of talent but it has not come out often enough for us for whatever reason.
"In management you get paid to make some important decisions sometimes. Stoke have been badgering me for a year. Everyone knows they love a big, traditional centre-forward and he might go and suit them.
"Towards the end with Kenwyne, things were not working out so I have accepted Stoke's offer and given him permission to speak to them."