SUNDERLAND have inquired about signing Kevin Davies until the end of the season, but Bolton insist they will not be allowing the veteran striker to leave on loan.

With Nicklas Bendtner set to be absent for two or three weeks after breaking his nose in last weekend's 2-0 win over Swansea, and Fraizer Campbell still feeling his way back to full fitness after a long-term absence with a knee injury, Martin O'Neill is short of attacking options.

He is reluctant to set his sights too high this month though, partly because his transfer kitty is limited and whatever he spends could impact upon his room for manoeuvre in the summer, and partly because he does not believe the players available in the current transfer window offer value for money.

There is also a strong possibility of O'Neill offering Asamoah Gyan an unexpected return to Wearside in the summer, once the African's season-long loan at Al-Ain is at an end.

While Gyan had effectively burnt his bridges with Steve Bruce, O'Neill is ready to give him a second chance. If Gyan was to return to the Sunderland squad in the close season, it would not make a lot of sense to invest significant resources in a new striker this month.

As a result, O'Neill is keen to secure a forward on loan, and Sunderland are among a number of clubs to have inquired about Davies' position at the Reebok Stadium.

The 34-year-old, whose current contract is due to expire in the summer, has fallen out of favour with Bolton boss Owen Coyle and is known to be unhappy with his lack of first-team action in recent months.

However, while Bolton officials would be willing to sell Davies, they have no interest in sanctioning the veteran's departure on loan this month.

Sunderland are only interested in a temporary deal as they do not believe the one-time England international offers any value in the longer term, even if, as expected, he would be willing to countenance an 18-month deal.

It now looks unlikely that Sunderland will have a new forward in place ahead of Sunday's Wear-Tees derby with Middlesbrough, but Campbell insists he is ready to make his mark at first-team level.

The former Manchester United striker has not made a senior appearance since August 2010, but having enjoyed an 80-minute run out with the reserves on Tuesday evening, he should at least make the substitutes' bench at the weekend.

"If I was called up to play or be on the bench this weekend, I'm ready," said Campbell. "I'm looking forward to that moment - it's all I've been able to think about for the last 18 months.

"I'm getting closer all the time now. I travelled down to Chelsea with the squad and that was all part of becoming back part of things once again. It was nice to go down there the day before and be involved in the team meetings once again."