Sunderland are keeping a close eye on midfielder Nir Bitton, according to the Glasgow Evening Times.
The Black Cats currently sit second-from-bottom in the Premier League table and have identified Celtic's Israeli international as a player who can improve their situation, with both the Sunderland Echo and the Shields Gazette also reporting that the club have sent scouts to watch him.
The Wearside outfit are ready to spend in January, but will face a tough task in luring a player to the Stadium of Light who only signed a new five-year deal at Celtic Park earlier this month.
Bitton wants to win trophies
The Evening Times understands that Sunderland would be able to offer Bitton a much higher wage that he is currently on, but the 24-year-old's comments after he signed his new contract clearly indicate that he would not be willing to choose money over silverware.
Having put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at Celtic until 2020, the midfielder said that he believes it's "better" to play in Europe instead of at "the bottom of the English Premier League."
When it comes to moving clubs, the midfielder likes to "think about everything" and in his head "money is not the most important thing in life."
"To win trophies and play for championships...is better than money."
With Sunderland having kept themselves afloat in the English top flight only by the skin of their teeth for the last few seasons, it appears that Bitton's ambitions cannot be achieved on Wearside, making a move South of the border unlikely.
Celtic slap hefty price tag on midfielder
The Black Cats may even be deterred from launching a bid for the Israeli midfielder because of the £10 million price tag that Celtic have placed on him, per the Sunderland Echo.
The Scottish champions sold defender Virgil van Dijk to Southampton for £12 million in the summer and so are not in a place where they need sell anyone else.
Also, with Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce reportedly to be given just the £20 million to spend in January, he is likely to be put off by an asking price that would use up half of his funds, especially with the Echo adding that he wants to buy four players in the New Year.