Black Cats are desperate to bring a quality forward to the Stadium of Light next season.
Sunderland are hoping to steal a march on their Premier League rivals by making an early move for coveted Celtic front man Gary Hooper, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The English attacker has been at Celtic Park for three years now, having signed for the Scottish Premier League giants from Scunthorpe United for just £2.4 million in July 2010.
And in the intervening thee-year period the 25-year-old has proved a sensation in Glasgow, finding the back of the net on 82 occasions in 137 matches in all competitions, an eye-catching run that includes 63 strikes in just 95 league encounters for the club.
Hooper is contracted to Celtic until June 30 2014 and so his employers would rather sell the player when the summer transfer window reopens for business on July 1, rather than risk losing the striker on a free next year, with Sunderland hoping to take advantage of the situation by submitting a £7m bid for his services.