SUNDERLAND are mulling over a move for Rotherham United defender Curtis Tilt as Phil Parkinson attempts to ensure he has sufficient defensive cover for the remainder of the season.

The Black Cats’ defensive resources have become stretched in the last couple of weeks, with Arbenit Xhemajli’s knee injury while on international duty with Kosovo following hot on the heels of the ligament injury to Morgan Feeney that will keep the youngster on the sidelines for up to four months.

With Jordan Willis also nursing a minor niggle that is requiring careful management in training, Parkinson is hoping to be able to recruit an additional defender before the EFL transfer window closes on Friday.

Sunderland are close to reaching the salary-cap limit imposed by the EFL earlier this year, but with Aiden McGeady set to be omitted from the Black Cats’ squad list even if he remains on the club’s books beyond Friday’s deadline, it is understood there is sufficient leeway for at least one more signing this week.

Tilt will almost certainly be on the move in the next few days, with his career having stalled since he joined Rotherham from Blackpool in January.

The 29-year-old’s only senior appearance for the Millers came in March’s 3-1 defeat to Rochdale, when he substituted after an hour.

He has not made a single outing for Paul Warne’s side in the current campaign, and did not even make Rotherham’s matchday squad for their most recent fixture, a Championship draw with Huddersfield Town prior to the start of the international break.

The centre-half is keen to leave Rotherham’s New York Stadium in an attempt to get his career back on track, and Parkinson is aware of his availability. Wigan Athletic have also been credited with an interest, along with Tilt’s former club, Blackpool.

Sunderland had been considering a move for Leeds United youngster Robbie Gotts, but the injuries to Xhemajli and Feeney mean Parkinson’s priorities have changed and he is no longer so keen to sign another midfielder.

Grant Leadbitter’s successful return to the fold has strengthened Parkinson’s midfield ranks, with the ongoing development of academy products Jack Diamond and Dan Neil another factor in his decision to switch his focus away from players in the central third.