Keane ready to move for Higginbotham
Sunderland boss Roy Keane is targeting Danny Higginbotham to increase competition in central defence.
The Wearsiders are understood to have revived their interest in the 28-year-old Stoke player after seeing their approaches earlier this summer rebuffed.
However, Keane is not looking to the former Manchester United trainee to fill his problem left-back spot and is instead hoping he would push push Nyron Nosworthy, Paul McShane and Russell Anderson for a place in the starting line-up.
McShane is a doubt for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Liverpool at the Stadium of Light after having 10 stitches put into a head wound after a clash with Antoine Sibierski in the 3-0 defeat at Wigan at the weekend.
Anderson is still coming to terms with life in the English top flight after his £1million move south from Aberdeen, while Danny Collins has played most of his football on Wearside at left-back.
Stoke resisted the Black Cats' initial attempt to recruit Higginbotham when they offered £2million for the player.
However, last season's Championship winners are hoping an improved bid could prove successful with the defender stalling over a new contract.
City boss Tony Pulis has signed former Sunderland defender Jody Craddock on a month's loan from Wolves, and with the two clubs in talks over extending the deal until the end of the year, that could ease Higginbotham's passage to the north-east.