GRANT LEADBITTER is back on Sunderland’s radar, with manager Jack Ross hoping to take advantage of his situation at Middlesbrough.

A queue of Championship clubs are also believed to be keen on Leadbitter this month, with Stoke City and Blackburn known to be two of those.

But Sunderland hope the prospect of playing at the club where it all started, and he supported as a boy, will prove more appealing.

Ross is on the look out for a couple of new players this month and, speaking after last night’s Checkatrade Trophy win over Manchester City’s Under-21s, confirmed he is closing in on a couple.

Sunderland are known to have made a couple offers for Wigan striker Will Grigg and a centre-midfielder is in his sights, and Ross suggested he hopes things can progress over the next 24 hours.

Leadbitter is believed to be the midfielder he is looking to bring in. The 33-year-old, who has made 500 career appearances, left Sunderland for Ipswich in 2009 when Roy Keane took him to Portman Road.

Middlesbrough have already been contacted by a number of clubs about the midfielder, and both Sunderland and Ipswich tried to sign him earlier in the window.

The Black Cats have also looked into taking Leadbitter back to the Stadium of Light in each of the previous two windows.