Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is ready to offload unsettled defender Anton Ferdinand in a move which will hopefully see long-term target Alan Hutton arrive at the Stadium of Light from Tottenham.
Bruce is well aware that Ferdinand, 24, has failed to settle in the North East following his £8million switch from West Ham in 2008 and
is eager for a return to the capital.
centre-back has slipped behind Michael Turner, John Mensah and Paulo da
Silva in the pecking order with the Black Cats and Bruce is thought to be willing to listen to offers in the New
This has led to renewed speculation that he could be used in a deal to bring buccaneering right-back Hutton to Wearside, with Bruce a big admirer of the Scotland international.
The 26-year-old arrived at White Hart Lane in a £9million deal from Rangers in January 2008, but has struggled to for form and fitness during his time in North London, while he has had to play second fiddle to Vedran Corluka so far this season.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is understood to be keen on signing Ferdinand given Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate's well-documented fitness problems, and with Kyle Naughton at his disposal may be tempted to part company with Hutton.
Meanwhile, Bruce is also said to be keeping tabs on Wigan left-back Maynor Figueroa, Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson and West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans as he looks to build on his side's impressive start to the season.