Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is set for talks with Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon on Wednesday, according to sources close to the club.
Villa are believed to have had a bid accepted for Gordon in the region of £7million although no-one at the midlands outfit would officially confirm this.
But Sunderland appear to have emerged as the favourites to sign the Scotland keeper after the player has spent the last two days at the Stadium of Light.
O'Neill is desperate to bring in a new keeper with last season's number one Thomas Sorensen currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.
But the future of the Danish international was already shrouded in doubt with Villa having not offered him a new contract despite Sorensen being in the last year of his current deal.
O'Neill is also keen on West Brom centre-back Curtis Davies who is valued at around £8million by the Baggies.
But Albion manager Tony Mowbray insisted at the weekend that no bids have been received in the close season for Davies - and nothing has changed while Tottenham are also keen on the England Under-21 player.
O'Neill has maintained his policy all summer of not commenting on transfers until they have been completed.
But he is still confident the players who were top of his shopping list will arrive at Villa.
He said: 'I would prefer to get the people in I have targeted for some time. I have a quite a number of people in mind but I would prefer to have the people in that I thought of first of all.'
What O'Neill does accept is that Villa are in urgent need of strengthening with eight players having left the club and only Nigel Reo-Coker and Marlon Harewood having moved in the opposite direction.
He said: 'I am aware that going into the season with the number of players we have at the moment would be pretty futile. I will have people in but it is the quality I am trying to look for first.
'It is difficult to assess whether we will have new players before the first league game with Liverpool this weekend because we have a number of things going on at the moment.'