Steve Bruce has confirmed exclusively to ESPNsoccernet that Sunderland have launched a £12 million combined bid for three Manchester United players.
Sunderland, flush with cash from the recent sale of Darren Bent to Aston Villa and the impending departure of Jordan Henderson, are eager to strengthen their squad after struggling with numbers last season.
Bruce, on a family holiday in Portugal, was not prepared to make any official comment until the deals are officially confirmed.
Bruce is one of the busiest managers already in the summer transfer window, generating the funds for the swoop on his former club from the sale of Henderson to Liverpool.
ESPNsoccernet understands that Bruce believes he can capture all three United players, but the moves are at an early stage and can only been firmed up once the sale of Henderson is completed.
Sir Alex Ferguson is busy with his own recruiting plans and there is sure to be a flurry of transfer activity at Old Trafford as well as at the Stadium of Light.
With United ready to do business with Sunderland, and the relationship between Bruce and Sir Alex is a very strong one, though the final decision now rests with the three players.
Bruce must feel that they might consider moving en block to Sunderland.